Improving a masterpiece
This graphic novel represents the highest expression of what Hugo Pratt used to call “graphic literature”: it’s a graphic novel transposition of Paul Auster’s narrative masterpiece that does not affect the original and makes the definition of “graphic novel adaption” inadequate.
The real peculiarity of the work lies in the fact that the novel’s subject are language and identity, which are definitelty non-graphic themes. Nevertheless, Mazzucchelli’s and Karasik’s mastery vividly unveil the story and their ability to communicate stands out in the ten drawings of the main character’s monologue. Even thoughts become alive in those pages that, for most of the story, are split into nine frames, reminding the bars of a jail or a cage. The graphic mark overcomes the story and the white page is attacked by black ink, up until the last scenes where messed up strokes strongly show the main character’s mental disorder. A shining example of narrative graphic.