Sunday, May 10, 2009

Very few words about Britten and Brülightly

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Brülightly. That is absolutely genius. I'm afraid I don't have much to say beyond that about Hannah Berry's incredible Britten and Brülightly, a graphic novel that seems even more incredible when you learn it's Berry's debut work. And she's only in her mid-twenties. And she's this good already? Jesus. Part of the reason I don't feel like I have too much more to say about the book is that I made the mistake of reading the "Praise for..." blurbs on the back of the book before reading it, and the blurb from The Daily Telegraph seems fairly on the nose:

The writing plays wittily off Chandler; the artwork crosses Posy Simmonds with Edward Gorey; the sense of humor recalls Bob Burden...Superb.

Well, the Chandler and Simmonds/Gorey comparisons strike me as on the nose. The Burden comparison is kind of curious, as the humor of the book that I think they're referring to comes from a single absurd element (that may not even be that absurd, depending on how you want to look at it), while the bulk of the humor is of the sly, verbal sort in the narration. This is funny, and Bob Burden is funny, but I wouldn't say that this and Bob Burden are funny in quite the same ways.

But this is a pretty great genre comic, and that genre is mystery rather than comedy. Britten and Brülightly is a very clever and rather complicated mystery with a likabley unusual protagonist with at least one very unusual tic and amazingly moody artwork (I loved the lettering, and the way you could see the texture of the paper in the white spaces).

If this is where Berry starts, I can't wait to see where she goes next.

1 comment:

Anthony Strand said...

I totally read the author's name as "Hanna Barbara" right away. I was not all that excited.

Sounds like something I should check out though.