Tuesday, July 16, 2013
By: Tom Gauld
This retelling of the David and Goliath Bible story is both a darkly funny tragedy and a masterful role reversal. Told largely with images, the story centers around Goliath, the giant, non-violent Philistine administrator who, through bad leadership, is placed in the front lines of war.
The greatest feat of this fractured Bible tale that is by turns philosophical and ordinary is that it turns a two-dimensional villain into a sympathetic and universal character. It’s easy for most readers to align themselves with someone who is sometimes apathetic, often in over his head, frequently misunderstood, and utterly mortal.
Simple-lined illustrations with characters reduced to basic shapes and sparse dialogue belie the depth of Gauld’s work. The contrast between his spare color scheme — black, white and brown — and densely crosshatched panels highlights his subtly profound brand of storytelling.
The misleading simplicity of this graphic novel lends itself well to multiple interpretations. It can be read as a parable of the senseless bureaucracy of war, or just a story about those times when nothing works out the way it should.
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