‘Logicomix’, the story of Bertrand Russell’s struggles with philosophy and his sanity, takes the graphic novel into remarkable new territory. John Walsh is gripped.
The comic strip hasn’t, historically speaking, been considered a quite suitable medium for the transmission of profound literature or thought. Tintin and Spider-Man, yes; Les Miserables and Hamlet, no. When Albert Kanter created Classic Comics (later Classics Illustrated) in 1941, his strip versions of Ivanhoe and Don Quixote were held at arm’s-length by parents and teachers, who were appalled to think their young charges might learn anything from colour-panel trash.
Principles of philosophy and existence are colored and questioned in Logicomix, a graphic novel of depth and perception. Britain’s rara avis, Bertrand Russell, serves as the epic’s real-life philosopher/hero seeking the foundations of mathematics via logic during the first half of the 20th century. The vibrant journey traverses Russell’s troubled life, with bouts of madness, awkward romances, two world wars …continue reading…
By Jessica Roy and Heather McCormack “This brilliant graphic novel wraps academia’s big ideas of Truth and Meaning into a story about the thinkers and their passions, by turns fascinating and charming, with deft color art.” Read the starred review on the Library Journal website here.
Catching a glimpse of reading’s future at the Book Expo
By Carlo Wolff, THE BOSTON GLOBE
NEW YORK – Book publishing and reading are clearly amid sweeping transition. The industry has been struggling with sagging sales and is looking for cheaper and more efficient ways to deliver content to readers who want more flexibility in how they buy and read, whether on paper or a handheld device.
…Whether in print or digital form, books will continue to be about content. And publishers at the expo gave visitors a preview of coming attractions. Among advance reader copies given away were Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad,” due from Doubleday in August; Richard Russo’s “That Old Cape Magic” (Knopf, August); Dan Chaon’s “Await Your Reply” (Ballantine, August); Pete Dexter’s “Spooner” (Grand Central, September); and the graphic novels “Stitches,” an adult memoir by children’s book illustrator David Smalls (Norton, September) already generating buzz, and “Logicomix,” a biography of philosopher Bertrand Russell by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou (Bloomsbury, October).
By Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
The book publishing industry may be in a crisis over the future of BookExpo America, but you couldn’t tell that from talking to comics and graphic novel publishers at the show. Comics publishers big and small seemed to have nothing but praise for this year’s BEA, citing a steady stream of foot traffic, meetings, deals and new opportunities during the show. And the praise wasn’t only about business deals and networking; such comics as David Small’s Stitches, Bloomsbury USA’s Logicomix: an Epic Search For Truth and R. Crumb’s Genesis Illustrated, were among the biggest and most talked about books at BEA.
…Although Macmillan did not exhibit at the show, many of its imprints had significant comics titles at BEA. Macmillan subsidiary Bloomsbury USA did exhibit and publicity director Peter Miller said he spent the weekend handing out galleys of Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, an unusual biographic work about philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russelll, by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou with art by Alecos Papadataos and Annie Di Donna. He said there was “great” interest in the book and pointed to a steady stream of interest and specific requests for the galley.
By Louisa Ermelino, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
There are so many “big books” being presented at the show this year, so many household name authors in every genre, that it couldn’t be a more exciting time for booksellers and booklovers. With so much uncertainty about the business of publishing and the winds of change in the industry, it’s a good time to focus on what BEA is all about: getting the word out about books. Although many wondered, “What’s going to happen when the tsunami of Dan Brown [The Lost Symbol, Doubleday, Sept.] hits the stores and takes over?,” it’s unlikely even Dan Brown can steal the thunder of the bounty to come.
…As for graphic novels, two of them felt like the most exciting books at the show. Logicomix from Bloomsbury (Oct.), a bio of Bertrand Russell, and a star of the Book Buzz panel, Stitches (Norton, Sept.) by David Small, the award-winning children’s illustrator. This memoir of his traumatic childhood is a masterpiece, with striking art and a story that will tear you apart. Norton asked the author to send a copy to his brother, from whom he was estranged for years. As a result of the book, the brothers have reunited. The power of art!
By Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY COMICS WEEK
This year’s BEA will be a much changed affair, and with fewer attendees, fewer galleys and reduced booth space for many giant publishers, but graphic novel publishers will still be there. In many ways graphic novels—an exotic newcomer at Book Expos seven or eight years ago—are now mainstream. For instance, graphic novels will be spotlighted on both buzz panels, and comics creators will be speaking on the author’s stage and in several separate panels not focused on graphic novels.
By Calvin Reid, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY COMICS WEEK
While it’s not unusual for comics to take on any subject, a new book coming from Bloomsbury in the fall will up the ante for using the comics medium to present a serious and complex subject in a thoughtful and entertaining literary package. In October Bloomsbury will publish Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou with the art team of Alecos Papdatos and Annie Di Donna, simultaneously in the U.S. and Britain as their lead book for the fall 2009 season. Featured on the cover of the Bloomsbury catalog, the book is, among other things, a serious examination of the life of noted mathematician/philosopher Bertrand Russell that uses fictional devices to recreate his life. But that’s just the beginning of the story of this unusual and impressive work.