cover image The Re[a]d Diary

The Re[a]d Diary

Teddy Kristiansen and Steven T. Seagle. Image (Diamond, dist.), $29.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-60706-560-9

Artist and writer Kristiansen and writer Seagle, the team behind the well-received It’s a Bird , have collaborated in an unconventional way for this beautiful, dual-story graphic novel. Published in French, Kristiansen’s original story chronicles the search of a biographer for the truth behind the life of an unknown artist who died during WWI. Seagle uses the same images to tell a different tale of war, art, and identity, as an old man searches to connect to the diaries of his youth. Seagle, who had not read the original before creating his own story, has done a remarkable job of creating a tale similar in tone and scope to Kristiansen’s original, while also telling a story wholly its own. Kristiansen’s painterly art conveys similar emotion in both pieces, and the select use of color gives a heightened sense of contrast. An experiment like this one—remixing a story as though it were a piece of music—carries the high potential for failure; instead, Kristiansen’s art opens up two tales that are equally poignant, and the experiment is a solid success. (Aug.)