|Product dimensions:||9.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Jim McCann is a writer of comic books, theater & television. Jim has worked on several films and music videos before entering the ABC Daytime Writer Development Program, during which time he wrote for the popular ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. Upon moving to New York City from his native Nashville, TN, in 2004, Jim found a position at Marvel comics, where he deals with publicity and PR for publishing as a consultant while handling press and panels at conventions. Recently, he has returned to his writing roots, writing for Marvel comics (New Avengers: The Reunion, Dazzler, X-Men), creator-owned graphic novels, and other upcoming projects. Jim currently resides in New York City and believes Mac & Cheese should be at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a hard book to review. First, while it's obvious that the artwork is beautiful, it was hard to appreciate it fully when every page of the digital preview copy I received through Netgalley was imprinted with an extremely obtrusive watermark. I understand the desire to prevent piracy, but this huge, very obvious image distracted and detracted. But that aside, I love the look of it. It's classic picture book wonder with a splash of comic book visual language, and solid underpinnings of fine art. In short, it's beautiful to look at. Into a world in which the clocks no longer tock, and thence stopped ticking, and thence time stopped; where children 11 and under play amongst the gears below ground while machines work above, and there is no one else; where a clockwork angel watches over them all from the harbor while one of the machines, in love with her, works very hard to reach her - into the stasis, on the echoes of the first bell chimes in forever, come 314 dapper men, flying in on open umbrellas. All are silent identical redheads who wear green bowlers and uniform frowns - except for one, who is cheerful and engaging and zooms in on the two most unusual folk of the land: a boy named Ayden and his friend, a machine named Zoe. They are friends where for the most part children and machines do not mingle. And everything changes. With the advent - the return - of the dapper men, time has started up again, and the sun begins to set for the first time anyone remembers, and Ayden and Zoe begin to find their destinies. It's a dreamlike story, with a steampunk edge, but with all it has going for it it is oddly unsatisfying. Without details of the climax I can say that the reasons for it completely escaped me. With details: Why did the angel abruptly fall into the sea? Did time catch up with her? Why her and no one and nothing else? How was Zoe her replacement, when she stood not quite as tall as the clockwork angel's head? Why did 41 die - and, more, why did he kill himself? There was no apparent point to it, and nothing gained. Why did the Dapper Men come back right then, and where have they been, and why did time begin again with their return - and, most annoying to me, why did it stop in the first place and where is everyone over the age of 11? I'm fine with mystery and unresolved questions - but not when I'm promised answers and they never come.It's distinctly possible that the answers I'd like to have are hidden somewhere in the text; Tim Gunn says in his introduction that there are puzzles and anagrams throughout the book. I dislike being made to feel stupid by what I read, and ... well, the closest thing I found to the kind of wordplay he talks about is the place name Anorev, which is Verona backwards, and Zoe is shown standing on a pile of books including Romeo and Juliet. There are layers of reference there (though a bit facile, in a way: this is no Romeo and Juliet story). Otherwise ... "Zoe" means "life". Ayden/Aiden means "little fire". 41 is one less than Douglas Adams's 42. And so either I missed a whole level of the story, or, to quote Nicholas Stuart Gray, "It ducked". I like the idea. I love the artwork. The adjuncts were charming: the introduction by the dapperest man of all, Tim Gunn; guest artwork which ranged from adorable to gorgeous; and, my favorite, a behind-the-scenes making-of featurette detailing how one page came to life. It just felt like the idea still remains just that: an idea, not quite communicated.
A stunning graphic novel that gently asks questions about what our roles in life are, our responsibilities and the choices we face or choose not to face.I was first drawn to this book by the artwork which is just beautiful and seems to have a heavy Art Nouveau mixed with steam punk mixed with Maurice Sendak influence and yet still feels completely original and managed to be very light and whimsical without being fluffy and trite seeming. The story took me a bit longer to get into becuase it asked way more questions than it answered...which may just be the point, also the first time I read it I was paying more attention to the art and this story really requires you to pay attention and think. With the second reading I really enjoyed the depth of it and all the questions both answered and unanswered and that it makes you think instead of leading you by the hand from point A to point B. For me it felt like the questions were the main point of the story not just telling you what happens. I also really appreciated how the dialog boxes were integrated with the art and felt a part of the art vs. just being plugged in to hold the text, and how they were shaped different to match the different types of characters and how the art and the story truly do compliment each other and support each other.
This is a really beautiful book, full of meaningful witticisms and quirky characters. I don't usually read graphic novels, so perhaps that's why I found this one a little hard to follow, but it was great fun and full of gorgeous artwork. Overall I enjoyed it greatly. Some of my favourite lines from the book: "They were completely unaware of their importance, as all those who truly affect others should be." "Many believed they held the answers, but everyone had forgotten the questions." "Like so much in Anorev, what should be had been for too long, becoming what it shouldn't." "There's always time for lessons, especially when you have time." "Some want what they can never have and think it's love."
Return of the Dapper Men is unlike any other graphic novel I've read. Certainly not this year or last. The exterior of this book caught my eye - its breathtaking cover and design brought me back to finer days spent in the library reading wonderful fairy tales by J.M. Barrie, Lewis Carroll, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery; however, the art inside the book leaves you speechless. Janet Lee has done a number on us and I beg for more. Her unique decoupage style is detailed in the back of the book including how it creates a depth (almost 3D quality) to this amazing steampunk fairytale. The story of Anorev and its inhabitants share a wonderful quality to those of Barrie, Carroll and de Saint-Exupery - it takes you to a far away fantastical land that exists to delight and amaze you while bringing up questions that we all struggle to answer. Why am I here? What am I supposed to do or become? Why is the world the way it is? Do I have a choice? Anorev is a land without time. Without time, there can be no change. Without change, can there be growth or answers to these questions? Jim McCann spins a spectacular story and builds a wonderful world unlike any other. He successfully creates unique and captivating voices (I read the narrator as Jim Dale) to tell a tale of a clockwork universe, dapper men, robot people and unruly kids. In the end, like most great fairy tales, this is a tale of morality, with several morals in play at the same time. I'm ecstatic to find out that this is one (1) of three (3) volumes planned for this amazing whimsical world of dapper men. I plan to come back time-after-time. I would recommend you do the same. Return of the Dapper Men is a book for all ages, in terms of readers and its place in literature.