Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography [Chester Brown] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A limited-edition reprint of Brown’s celebrated. LOUIS RIEL: A Comic-Strip Biography. Chester Brown, Author. Drawn and Quarterly $ (p) ISBN Chester Brown reinvents the comic book medium to create the critically acclaimed historical biography Louis Riel, winning the Harvey Awards for best writing.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Louis Riel by Chester Brown. Domic-strip coolly documents with dramatic subtlety the violent rebellion on the Canadian prairie led by Riel, who some regard a martyr who died in the name of freedom, while others consider him a treacherous murderer. PaperbackFirst Paperback Editionpages. Published August 22nd by Drawn and Quarterly first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Louis Rielplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jul 25, Seth T. Biography is always a tricky thing to pull off well.
Ignoring the matter of biobraphy, the biographer still has to grapple with the reality that there are not really any such things as brute facts. The biographer is never simply representing What Happened, but instead puts forth a version of what happened—a story that conforms more or less plausibly with the ultimately unknowable way history actually spun itself out. Oh, certainly in the abstract sense, there could exist some ultimate record of events free from the colouring of memory, vanity, or nostalgia, but that would require an impartial, omniscient observer.
See, the thing of it is: They not only have a responsibility to the historical record, but perhaps more importantly, they are beholden to the attentions of their readers. The biographer, on the other hand, is more like a film editor who has to craft a compelling story with found material he had comics-trip hand in creating.
As if truth and history even belong in the same sentence.
CM Magazine: Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography.
Often in his research Brown biogrphy confronted with conflicting reports, some from recollections published well and many years after any of the involved incidents.
To this end, Brown supplies the reader with a gratifying section of endnotes, in which he is allowed to explore questions that his straightforward narrative is unable to ask.
He will often use this as an opportunity to show how the history he presents is an amalgamation of reports conflated again with fictionalization to help the story spring to life. As an example, Brown shows a scene in which historical figure Thomas Scott and several others beat a Canadian aboriginal named Parisien. Brown, in his endnotes, discusses the seemingly straightforward scene: Neither Sutherland [another casualty] nor Parisien died immediately. This is just one example among over a hundred.
He is unshackled enough that he can tell the story he is going to tell in the way he wishes to tell it. Visual space is used to create story beats, punctuating decisions or underscoring the humour in a given situation. The pacing and storytelling is excellent throughout. Hollow, pupil-less eyes float detached in wide-open faces. More insidious, however, is the blunt scheming of the Canadian prime minister to force Riel into open rebellion for the sake of some lucrative rail contracts.
And his version of things might be more compelling anyway. Oct 18, Michael rated it it was ok. This is an ambitious effort to deal with a very complex part of Canadian history. The artwork is excellent, but unfortunately the resulting story is over-simplistic.
Louis Riel: A Comic-strip Biography
Brown compensates for this somewhat in louia extensive notes at luois end of the comic book, where he goes so far as to admit that he made Z A. MacDonald appear more villainous to improve the story. Not sure it’s a good idea to take such liberties with important historical figures i. Canada’s first prime minister for something th This is an ambitious effort to deal with a very complex part of Canadian history. Canada’s first prime minister for something that doesn’t explicitly present itself as fiction.
Moreover, the reader doesn’t come away with an adequate view of the real complexity of Riel as a historical figure. Perhaps this would be best described as historical ridl or fictionalized history?
Either way, if you do read this comic book without any prior knowledge of Riel, you’d better also read the notes at the end. Sep 04, Aloke rated it it was amazing Shelves: A must read for those interested in Canadian history. Being a graphic novel it does have obvious trade offs between completeness and artistic license. The cool thing is that Brown is upfront about that in the intro and the very thorough endnotes in true graphic novel these are handwritten very neatly but somewhat hard to read.
These along with the bibliography make it a great starting point to learn about Louis Riel’s tumultuous life and his role in history. I thought it was the perfect fit to represent both the time and the subject matter. The layouts are clean and clear with about nine panels per page to tell the Metis story.
The first being his leadership of what would become Winnipeg, the Loouis River Settlement, and the establishment of Manitoba. The biogrraphy part concerns his return to Canada following his complete mental breakdown.
Having spent time in a Montreal insane asylum, Riel believes himself to be a prophet sent from God and his ensuing actions lead to increased hostility between both the Metis of Manitoba and the Canadian government. Jul 31, Sam Quixote rated it liked it. Brown retells the history of Louis Riel using his unique drawing skills. Each of the characters are given blank eyes and expressionless faces, as well as enormous hands and small heads – deliberate choices by the artist.
The story is a bit dusty for most of the book. This law was passed which meant this border changed which meant this happened which meant people had to move until this law was passed, blah blah. Unless you’re really into 19th century Canadian history regarding the Coimc-strip people yo Brown retells the history of Louis Riel using his unique drawing skills.
Unless you’re really into 19th century Canadian history regarding the Metis people you’ll gloss over these sections. Maps are included to show the shifting borders. What’s interesting is when Louis Riel loses his mind and believes he’s a prophet from God. There are some brilliant sections like the siege or when Louis and his men are held captive. There’s quite a comedic scene with one of the racist prisoners shouting expletives you just see “XXX” in the caption baloon and coupled with his s face louuis cavernous mouth it made me laugh.
It’s a good, thorough read and reminded me of Rick Geary’s work which is also brilliant. Your book is now on my ‘prioritiesed’ shelf Do you know another book that’d look really nice up there May 21, Sotiris Blography rated it really liked it Shelves: A factual, historical comic book about the early days of Canada and the story of Louis Riel. He fought about the rights of the native people, with a bit of megalomania, a big of insanity that is needed to curry such a cause against the government.
Again the Rail road and financing the lines that connect the country and subsequently the money needed for such effort, was behind his execution. Now days is a national hero for Canada, back then an insane. A very good, fast, Sunday morning coffee read A factual, historical comic book about the early days of Canada and the story of Louis Riel. A very good, fast, Sunday morning coffee read. Jan 16, Emmkay rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting graphic novel treatment of the North-West Rebellion, focusing on the figure of Louis Riel.
Very simple black-and-white graphics in a distinctive style, coupled with simple, casual dialogue, but augmented with interesting maps and fascinating endnotes about the narrative choices and historical liberties taken by the author. Apr 29, Andrew rated it it was amazing Shelves: Throughout, Riel was both inspired and hampered by his own religious fanaticism.
Chester Brown tells this incredible true story in a unique way.
He uses rigid formalism and minimalism each page is a 2 x 3 panel grid with wide margins and gutters; the characters’ faces are often blank and affectless to heighten both the humor and the heartbreak of this desperate, small-scale rebellion.
He then shoots an innocent bystander. The soldiers recapture him and hack him to death with an ax, while the bystander bleeds to death nearby. The scene blends comedy and horrific violence in a way that reminds me Stanley Kubrick or the Coen Brothers.
Louis Riel is a fascinating character. He’s a louls who believes he communes with God and knows all the secrets of the universe, but he cannot grasp the scale of what he’s up against, or how to deal with the combined forces of the Canadian government, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Hudson’s Bay Trading company. In this way, he’s a classic Western hero – a strong man made lluis by capitalist progress.
The extensive handwritten end notes make this an even richer reading biogralhy. The comic is an engrossing, one-of-a-kind history, and the end notes are an impressive historiography and self-critique. That Chester Brown provides both in under pages is a truly remarkable achievement. Apr 16, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: Really nice to re-learn this chapter of Canadian History, but as a novel, it didn’t work for me.
The visual style was very static, so it didn’t convey the movement and chaos that I would expect to accompany an armed rebellion, and the dialogue was very stiff and emotion-less. It gave me the impression of an illustrated list of facts, as opposed to a dramatic re-telling of fascinating real-world events. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, like they were all two-dimensional comic str Really nice to re-learn this chapter of Canadian History, but as a novel, it didn’t work for me.