Friday, April 11, 2014

The Cage by Martin Vaughn-James

First Publication:  1975

Source:  Net Galley

Graphic Novel Challenge book #2

Summary (from Amazon):
First published in 1975, The Cage was a graphic novel before there was a name for the medium. Cryptic and disturbing, it spurns narrative for atmosphere, guiding us through a labyrinthine series of crumbling facades, disarrayed rooms and desolate landscapes, as time stutters backward and forward. Within the cage's barbed-wire confines, we observe humanity only through its traces: a filmic sequence of discarded objects - headphones, inky stains, dishevelled bedsheets - scored by a deafening cacophony of breaths, cries and unsettling silence.

This book is very intriguing.  The artist focuses on the cage while time might be flowing forwards...or maybe backwards around it.  The lack of people, including a protagonist, makes it difficult to understand.  Some people say that the author is not really sure what it is about.  So if you are a reader who loves dialog and the interaction between people, avoid this book.  In other words if you are someone who prefers the destination to the journey, this is not for you.

On the other hand, the "journey" of this story is amazing.  The art varies in style but is very good.  Martin Vaughn-James does a great job of using the items in and around the cage to show changes.  I would like to see what the creator could do with a more traditional type of story.  I give the art a higher grade than the story but the way it is done makes the art the focal point of the pages.  Fans who enjoy good art will like this book.

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to read this novel.  It is worth getting a copy.