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Megan Kelso

Artichoke Tales

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Megan Kelso’s first new book in four years is a fantastic generation-spanning saga.

Megan Kelso has proved herself a master of the cartoon short story with Queen of the Black Black (1998, to be republished by Fantagraphics in 2010) and Squirrel Mother (2006, currently in its second printing). With Artichoke Tales, six years in the making, Kelso expands her range (and her page count) by creating a family saga spanning three generations and an entire continent.'

Artichoke Tales is a 176-page coming-of-age story about a young girl named Brigitte whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war, a graphic novel that takes place in a world that echoes our own, but whose people have artichoke leaves instead of hair. Influenced in equal parts by Little House on the Prairie, The Thorn Birds, Dharma Bums, and Cold Mountain, Kelso weaves a moving story about family amidst war. Kelso’s visual storytelling, uniquely combining delicate linework with rhythmic, musical page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate, ruminative character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war and carnage, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic. This is Kelso’s first new work in four years; the widespread critical reception of her previous work makes Artichoke Tales one of the most eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2010.

Praise

"[S]urprising and wonderful... Kelso’s ligne claire artwork is consistently sweet and airy… The approach provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths, about a land whose cultural heritage is rotting away in the aftermath of a civil war." — Douglas Wolk - The New York Times Book Review

"Kelso has sharp powers of observation, and many of her characters have a blank-eyed innocence that serves as a counterpunch to the acuity of the narratives." — People

"Kelso uses a warm, inviting style of soft colors and rounded, almost pillowy characters to explore the mysteries of people and relationships... Kelso’s stories invite contemplation." — Time

"Kelso perfectly marries words and images, telling stories of longing and casual cruelty with a mastery perfectly suited to the comics medium." — Publishers Weekly

"A coming-of-age story about a young girl from a family caught between sides in a civil war, set in a world similar to ours but where people have artichoke leaves instead of hair. ... Its delicate, rather impish black-and-white line work comes from the creator of the subtle and poignant Squirrel Mother." — Martha Cornog - Library Journal

Specs

Pages
232
Format
Hardback
Color
176 pages of color comics
Dimensions
6.9" × 8.3"
ISBN-13
9781606993446
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