Monday, December 3, 2012

Graphic Novels and Trivia

NORMANDY, A Graphic History of D-Day, written and illustrated by Wayne Vansant, Zenith Press, $19.99, 104 pages, ISBN: 9780760343920, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Wayne Vansant is well known for his graphic tales of the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam. He has shared stories about the German point of view as well as stories from the Russian front. He is meticulous in his research and his stories are very factual.

NORMANDY tells the story of the D-Day Invasion on June 5, 1944 as the Allies hit the five beaches and follows the action from there until the liberation of Paris in August.

It was not an easy fought campaign and there were many deaths on both sides. The art may be graphic in places, but it is necessary to make sure everyone knows the price that was paid in order to achieve the final victory. It also proves that war is not pretty.

The art and colors are vivid, the details of the story are accurate and this would be an exceptional tool to aid in the historical understanding of the times. It is works like this that can help us remember the horrors of war and the sacrifice made by our fathers and grand-fathers.

This book and other works by Wayne Vansant show why he is the premiere war artist in the business today. Highly recommended.

THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America, written by Dwight Jon Zimmerman and illustrated by Wayne Vansant, Hill and Wang, $24.95, 150 pages, ISBN: 9780809053582, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

This is the story of two men, who had a journey to destiny that neither knew they were on to a conclusion that led to an historical change in the direction of this country and the people that have lived since then.

Zimmerman has written the story from the point of view of both historical figures and shows how they grew and followed their own path that turned into a friendship as they both sought the equality of man and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Vansant has taken those words and turned them into a graphic history that will be a great teaching tool for history teachers and parents as well. It is a well-drawn story that uses color to let you know which storyline you are following.

It has often been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the picture here show that axiom at its best. As you follow the story and the art, you will learn more about the times of Lincoln and Douglass than from any written history.

Kudos go to Zimmerman and Vansant for another job well done. This is another great addition to the previous collaboration, THE VIETNAM WAR, A Graphic History, Hill and Wang, $19.99, published in 2009.

THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING MOVIE TRIVIA BOOK, Brian James Freeman, Hans Ake Lilja and Kevin Quigley, Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne, Cemetery Press, $19.95 Trade Paper-ISBN: 9781587673115, $40 Hardcover-ISBN: 9781587573122, 442 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Over 1,000 questions taken from over 50 Stephen King movies fill this volume with the type of questions trivia masters will love and use to confound contestants and movie goers alike.

I have watched a couple of King movies since I received this and have used the trivia questions as a way to enhance the viewing. The illustrations add to the enjoyment and helps tie in the questions with the movie. Chadbourne’s illustrations show a scene from the movie and add to the enjoyment.

Thanks go to the editors and the King fans who submitted questions to make this book an adventure in mind games and memory.

THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING TRIVIA BOOK, Revised & Updated Edition, Brian James Freeman and Bev Vincent, Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne, $19,95 Trade Paper-ISBN: 9781587673153, 480 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

In this revised second edition, it has been updated to include King’s latest works including the ebooks, other titles that were only available to Kindle, Dark Tower additions and comics.

The questions in this one are not so easily remembered and will give even the self-proclaimed King scholars a hard time in coming up with an answer.
The topics include biography, novels short stories, Bachman books, The Dark Tower and non-fiction works. It would be impossible to keep up with everything in order to know the answers to some of the questions. That may be why there are hints in the back of the book.

This revised and updated edition also has new illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne to augments those previously present in the first edition.

This is a wonderful volume and goes well as a companion to the movie trivia book reviewed elsewhere.

I would like to recommend both of these to you, “faithful reader” and the only bad thing is that they won’t be out until February 2013. You may be able to pre-order them from Cemetery Dance and give them as special Christmas presents.

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