Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Looks Interesting: Market Day

Find this graphic novel at: [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Description from the publisher (Drawn and Quarterly):

An expectant father, Mendleman's life goes through an upheaval when he discovers he can no longer earn a living doing the work that defines him— making well-crafted rugs by hand. A proud artisan, he takes his donkey-drawn cart to the market only to be turned away when the distinctive shop he once sold to now only stocks cheaply manufactured merchandise. As the realities of the market place sink in, Mendleman unravels.

See what some reviewers have to say about this book:

Greg Burgas at Comics Should Be Good
Market Day is a rather bleak comic, which doesn't necessarily make it depressing. Okay, it kind of does, because although this isn't a grand tragedy, it does end in failure, and it leaves us feeling somewhat empty. So I hate it, right? No, because it's very well done. And the ending, as depressing as it is, speaks to choices people often have to make and whether the main character, Mendleman, makes the right one.

Steve Duin at
Sturm illuminates the rug maker's exile and his odyssey with sobering eloquence, and the detailing of the book reminds us that Drawn & Quarterly still cares about quality, even if Finkler's son-in-law doesn't. This is the best graphic novel, to date, of 2010.

Michael C. Lorah at Newsarama
Ultimately, a meditation on art versus commerce, Sturm’s Market Day allows readers inside the heart-crushing conflict between following one’s muse and the need to provide for oneself and one’s family.  Deep and meditative, Market Day follows Mendleman into the depths of his soul, considering the allure of creativity, the burdens of family, and vice versa, the human connections needed to create great art.

Glen Weldon at NPR
At moments like these, in the span of only two or three gracefully composed panels, Sturm captures the thrill of artistic inspiration with a directness and economy only possible in comics.

That directness, and the way Sturm locates his tale so thoroughly and vividly inside Mendleman's head, ensure that the book never devolves into the simple thesis on art vs. commerce that a summary of its plot might threaten.

George Gene Gustines at The New York Times
The splendid artwork in “Market Day” manages to evoke — depending on the scene — wonder or sadness, though the color palette mostly stays muted. Mendleman has the soul and vision of an artist. He constantly observes, absorbs and converts the chaos of life around him into patterns for his rugs.

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