Book review : Persepolis

It’s rare for me to read a book from cover to cover these days, and apart from reading Asterix the Gail books as a child, I have never read a graphic novel before.

This book was a revelation. It taught me things about life in Iran that I could never have got from the media. I guessed at some of the political issues around Iran but didn’t know much. This graphic novel tackles the early life of Marjane Satrapi and how she was affected by the Iranian revolution. It is honest talking about how people and particularly women have been repressed by the regime. It made me think.

The illustration is clear and understandable, the text clear. It is well written and engaging. Difficult themes are tackled with some graphic images of war, but they are not excessive. The support, and sometimes lack of it, from family and friends is explored.

I was engrossed. I read it from cover to cover. Now I have passed it on to my hubby.

Rating five stars. (Even though I don’t do reviews).

Prevaricating

At the moment I’m stuck with my college work. I have ideas, I seem to know what I want to do. But I have a fear of failing. The heat doesn’t help. I’m ending up doing things at 3am, but it’s not enough. Words circle in my mind, like vultures, ready to sink down on the ruin of my ideas. Prevarication prevents failure. I don’t feel I can do a good enough job.

I must start. By writing this down I’m trying to give me a kick start to things. I need to order a couple of books, but I’ve even held back from doing that. I know I can do the course, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get higher marks. I have passed each semester though. Why would this one be different? Easier to think than write…

My style?

A torch shines. It’s light illuminates a running figure. A trail of blood shows its steps.

This was a transformation we had to do in our illustration workshop this afternoon.

How to show up the image? I used post-it notes to show the shape of the surface as the figure is running across the floor. If I hadn’t had just 20 minutes I would have added a chequerboard pattern. As it was it was fun to do.

Books in the post

Books for college. A great many words arrived in the post over the last couple of days. A book called visual methodologies by Gillian Rose, illustration research methods by Rachel Gannon and Mireille Fauchon. Beginning Theory by Peter Barry and Picture This by Molly Bang. I hope the information in them will sink into my brain. Such a lot to look at and try and understand. It’s hard to take in so much, and this is just a small piece of the puzzle. I must improve my knowledge of crytical analysis. To go from descriptive to forensic. That’s hard. Generating new ideas and opinions without being opinionated. I want to try not to be cruel or condescending. To be honest and to use understandable language because some of it just feels selfish and snobbish. Hmmm.

Random bits…

Today’s college workshop, we had to create an image from random bits of things we had around us. I made a motorbike with mine! Can you see it?

Post it notes and bits of monoprinted paper, and a bit of maroon tissue paper as a bit of foliage. Is that a small white wheel at the front or a square orange wheel? Green handlebars, pink headlight. Black and white seat.

Bought a book

I’ve just got this on one of those delivery websites it only took a couple of days to arrive. I got this because of the subjects but also because each woman has an illustrated portrait. I like the way there are different styles of illustraton even thought they are by thr same illustrator. Each has different characteristics and the illustrator shows different ideas for each person.

I want to explore the work of this illustrator as she does things in a very different way to how I do things.

starting…

Where to start a story? From experience? Imagination, or a bit of both?

This was my first panel in a 9-panel illustration. You may have seen it on another blog page. Where could this go? My idea was about the problem of hoarding in the present day, consumerism, the need to have objects to comfort you. But maybe it could have gone a different route. Perhaps she visits an antiques fair and finds an undiscovered painting or a jewel that has been thought of as trash. Maybe she goes to a secondhand shop and discovers a first edition book by H Ryder Haggard. Or adds some new kittens to her family.

Is she alone, does her collection cause a conflict with relatives. Has she got enough money to feed her collecting hobby? Where does she fit all of her belongings? She might have a lock up garage that is broken into causing despair when her family heirlooms go missing. Perhaps she meets a like minded collector or the Police investigate her for keeping stolen goods?

Maybe, even, it could be a murder mystery, a jeweled dagger is amongst the effects she receives following the death of a maiden aunt from Glastonbury? Why Glastonbury? Because I’ve always wanted to visit it!

College work

I’m doing a single page narrative of how someone’s life has changed for the worse. So I chose hoarding as it’s insideous and creeps up on people. This is close to finished but I may add more. What do you think….

We had training at work about how to try and help hoarders. You can’t just tell people to throw things away, it won’t work. People become attached emotionally to their objects, an empty biscuit box might remind them of a relative they have lost. A pair of old shoes, a romantic holiday. Each item can be invested in memories and if they lose the object they fear they can lose the memory…. Sometimes people’s lives are overwhelming, if they live on their own with not many social contacts or an illness they may no be able to cope. Who do they turn to? And there is the embarrassment factor as well. Turning friends and family away because it’s hard to admit they have a problem. That’s what this little 9 panel story is about.

This image is in CYMK colours as it may be printed later. The size has to fit an A4 page with enough margins so the ink doesn’t bleed off the edges.