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Poetry Is Useless
by Anders Nilsen


Overview -

In "Poetry is Useless," Anders Nilsen redefines the sketchbook format, intermingling elegant, densely detailed renderings of mythical animals, short comics drawn in ink, meditations on religion, and abstract shapes and patterns. Page after page gives way under Nilsen's deft hatching and perfectly placed pen strokes, revealing his intellectual curiosity and wry outlook on life's many surprises.  Read more...


 
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More About Poetry Is Useless by Anders Nilsen
 
 
 
Overview

In "Poetry is Useless," Anders Nilsen redefines the sketchbook format, intermingling elegant, densely detailed renderings of mythical animals, short comics drawn in ink, meditations on religion, and abstract shapes and patterns. Page after page gives way under Nilsen's deft hatching and perfectly placed pen strokes, revealing his intellectual curiosity and wry outlook on life's many surprises.
Stick people debate the dubious merits of economics. Immaculately stippled circles become looser and looser, as craters appear on their surface. A series of portraits capture the backs of friends' heads. For ten or twenty pages at a time, "Poetry is Useless" becomes a travel diary, in which Nilsen shares anecdotes about his voyages in Europe and North America. A trip to Colombia for a comics festival is recounted in carefully drawn city streets and sketches made in cafes. "Poetry is Useless" reveals seven years of Nilsen's life and musings: beginning in 2007, it covers a substantial period of his comics career to date, and includes visual reference to his books, such as "Dogs & Water, " "Rage of Poseidon, "and the "New York Times "Notable Book "Big Questions." This expansive sketchbook-as-graphic-novel is exquisitely packaged with appendices and a foreword from Anders Nilsen himself.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781770462076
  • ISBN-10: 1770462074
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
  • Publish Date: July 2015
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-07-13
  • Reviewer: Staff

In the philosophical vein of his acclaimed Big Questions, Ignatz- and Lynd Ward Prize–winning cartoonist Nilsen pulls us into the world of his journal/sketchbook, which is reproduced here. Returning repeatedly to the theme of the foolishness of poetry, Nilsen explores mortality, morality, and fear with funny and absurd pictures and engaging monologues. The drawing style is his usual simple silhouettes with blacked-out words, and all mistakes showing. Interspersed with the basic yet beautiful sketches—sometimes inked with seemingly thousands of labored marks—are intricate, detailed life drawings of Nilsen’s friends, strangers on trains, sea monsters, breakfasts, devils, and copies of works of art. There’s an odd and moving nonfiction account toward the end about a man who comes to a reading of Nilsen’s and has a strange and coincidental connection to the author and his dead partner. The break into more traditional comics narration forms a jarring and very effective addition to a book that is a little weird, but always humorous and perceptive. (July)

 
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