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Lulu Sales Rank: 80870
2 People Reviewed This Product
  • By Sarah McIntyre
    Aug 1, 2009
    "Gripping tale, beautifully drawn" Loved this book, I'd posted a blog entry about it here: http://jabberworks.livejournal.com/185071.html
  • By Shannon Yarbrough
    May 28, 2009
    "Undertow by Ellen Lindner" I do not remember the last time I read a comic book or graphic novel. I wasn’t much of a comic geek back in the day, although I did enjoy my Garfield and Far Side collections in between classes in junior high, and occasionally read Archie just because my best friend did. But when Ellen Lindner queried us with her graphic novel, Undertow, I jumped at the chance to read it because it was something different. The description of the book on Lulu reads as follows: Undertow by Ellen Lindner gives us a close-up view through the back door of Brooklyn in the sixties—with all the delinquency, drugs, and trips to Coney Island that implies. Beautifully drawn in sinuous, sharp style, Lindner’s characters, and their fight to do more than survive, are unforgettable. This description is also printed on the back of the book as a quote from Jessica Abel, author of La Perdida and Artbabe. The quote is a good sell, but is correct in stating that much of these... More > themes are only implied. The delinquency and drugs portion are only briefly explored or mentioned, and were not issues that I drew out of the theme on my own. The story follows a girl named Rhonda who seems a bit bored with the events life has recently handed her. Her mother is an alcoholic, her best friend has just drowned, and her brother is not very sympathetic. Like many comics, the storyline plays out as if you are overhearing a conversation from another room. You are only treated to the important parts and must fill in the gaps in between for yourself. The visual appeal of drawings definitely helps and entertains, but I felt some of the characters lacked introductions and overall substance. For instance, there’s a social worker who wants to help Rhonda, but his storyline doesn’t seem very important to Rhonda’s conflict until the very end. Also, Rhonda is present when her friend, Estelle, goes missing but does not seem too upset about it in the next chapter. Instead, she acts a bit like a zombie and is distracted with textbooks and choosing a career. Unfortunately, I didn’t really embrace Rhonda as a heroin in the story. However, I did embrace Lindner’s vision of a 1950’s New York. Coney Island is a magnificent setting for parts of the story, and my only regret is that I couldn’t see Lindner’s work in color. The entire book is in black and white. The scenes on the beach when Estelle goes missing and later when Rhonda is hanging out with her friends and playing cards are quite beautiful and Lindner has done an excellent job of portraying emotion in her characters. Throughout the book Rhonda occupies herself by practicing the Cha Cha, and there is a nighclub scene full of vivid attention to detail. It is obvious from reading Undertow and from looking at Lindner’s website that she is a genious when it comes to her talent, and I definitely look forward to seeing and reading more from her. She is a brilliant illustrator and deserves much success. If you can appreciate a good classic comic, then Undertow is definitely worth a look. Cross posted from the LL Book Review.< Less
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Product Details

Edition
Advance Printing
Publisher
Little White Bird
Published
March 13, 2009
Language
English
Pages
152
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.62 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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