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Running up tabs at local bars by day and haunting the dock by night, Set to Sea's protagonist is a big lug of an aspiring poet who writes paeans to the seafaring life. When he gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong, however, he finds the sailor's life a bit rougher than his romantic nautical fantasies! In the course of this black-and-white graphic novel, he helps rebuff a pirate assault, survives a gunshot to the eye, and learns to live and love a Conradian life on the sea, all the while writing poetry about pirates, bad food, unceremonial funerals, foreign ports, and unexpected epiphanies. By the end of his life, he's found satisfaction in his adventures a receptive and appreciative readership. What more could one ask for? Drawn in an elaborate crosshatched style that falls somewhere between Gustave Dore's engravings and E. C. Segar's Popeye, Set to Sea is part rollicking adventure, part maritime ballad told in visual rhyme. Every page is a single panel; every panel is a stunning illustration, every illustration a part of a larger whole that tells a story in the deft language of cartooning.
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Drew Weing lives and works in a small house with three cats and his wife, the cartoonist Eleanor Davis. When he occasionally leaves the house, he finds himself in beautiful Athens, Georgia.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Who knew that the big galoot who can’t pay his tab and gets kicked out of a tavern is a poet at heart, gazing longingly into library windows on dark, abandoned streets? Certainly not the scurvy seadogs who kidnap him and send him to sea as a replacement for their lost crew, where he learns that the waters are possessed of a much different poetry than he ever suspected. With elegant simplicity, this comic-book fable unfurls the tale of a life cast on an unexpected course and the melancholy wisdom accrued upon the waves. First-time graphic-novelist Weing has produced a beautiful gem here, with minimal dialogue, one jolting battle scene, and each small page owned by a single panel filled with art whose figures have a comfortable roundness dredged up from the cartoon landscapes of our childhood unconscious, even as the intensely crosshatched shadings suggest the darkness that sometimes traces the edges of our lives. A loving and very sophisticated homage to E. C. Segar’s Popeye, it would make a fine tonal companion for Scott Morse’s Southpaw (2003) or S. A. Harkham’s Poor Sailor (2005). Weing’s debut is playful, atmospheric, dark, wistful, and wise. Grades 8-12. --Jesse Karp
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Book Description Fantagraphics Books, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1606993682
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