Monday, 16 March 2009

The Savage

The Savage, written by David Almond and illustrated by Dave McKean is presented as 'An extraordinary graphic novel within a novel'.
It describes a young lad who begins to write a story about the eponymous Savage; a feral and violent character who exists outside the realities of society.
Almond typically observes his characters effectively and his words flow nicely throughout the pages. McKean's illustrations are fabulous; he uses a calligraphic ink technique that gives his art an ethereal quality, despite the urbanised and often brutal themes.
Problems arise when the two artists are not working in tandem; sections of the book are text only and they feel empty and soulless.
The story is intriguing, yet elements feel a little whitewashed; like Almond is holding back.
Overall The Savage is important for expanding the publishing market, but isn't quite the bridge between children's picture books and adult graphic novels I'd have hoped.

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