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The Crackle of the Frost by Lorenzo Mattotti
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The Crackle of the Frost

by Lorenzo Mattotti

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When his girlfriend Alice says she wants to have his baby, Samuel freaks out and is paralyzed by fear. A year after she has left him, Samuel is overwhelmed by a desire to go see Alice in her new home quite a distance away, and thus begins a life-changing journey marked by fire, friendship, injury, and insight.

This is a rather esoteric read concerned far more with the inner thoughts and existential crisis of the main character than with the slim plot. Symbolism is ripe, both in the text itself and in the abstract artwork that accompanies it. The illustrations are almost jarringly bright at times, and it's unusual to see such full color in a non-mainstream comic. These illustrations are more akin to modern art museum paintings than the cartoon-style drawings associated with comics popular in the U.S.

If you're a mature reader looking for an out-of-the-norm graphic novel, this title is a contender. But if you prefer plot or character exploration over the inner workings of one person's midlife crisis, then you'd be better off with something other than this book. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Aug 31, 2016 |
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I remember it very well: We were on our way back from the beach... My skin was on fire... The car was like an oven... A box made of iron and heat, paralyzed in the middle of traffic.
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My skin was on fire... And Alice said, "I want to have a baby with you, Samuel." I remember it well: That was the moment when the noise first showed up in my head. The noise... the noise.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 160699543X, Hardcover)

Full-color graphic novel of love and loss from the co-creator of Stigmata and The Raven.

When confronted with his girlfriend’s request that they have a child together, Samuel fled that relationship. But now, a year later, when he receives a letter from Alice announcing she is expecting a baby, old emotions flare up and he embarks on a long journey to see Alice again — to re-open, or perhaps close forever, that important chapter of his life. The Crackle of the Frost is the story of what he sees, hears, experiences, and learns during that journey.

Last year, Fantagraphics presented the extraordinary Stigmata, a stunning display of Mattotti’s whirling, emotional, black and white linework put in the service of a devastating story — as well as his painted illustrations for Lou Reed’s The Raven. The Crackle of the Frost ups the visual ante even on those masterpieces, combining the narrative drive of the former with the lush color illustrations of the latter to create a graphic-novel masterpiece with panel after panel of sumptuous full-color paintings, as if Edward Hopper had suddenly decided to jump into comics.

Full color throughout

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:30 -0400)

"When confronted with his girlfriend's request that they have a child together, Samuel fled that relationship. But now, a year later, when he receives a letter from Alice announcing she is expecting a baby, old emotions flare up and he embarks on a long journey to see Alice again -- to re-open, or perhaps close forever, that important chapter of his life. The Crackle of the Frost is the story of what he sees, hears, experiences, and learns during that journey." --Fantagraphics website.… (more)

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