Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows takes a look at The Folio Society’s Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay, illustrated by Chris Samnee, out now…
The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay
Writer: Michael Chabon
Illustrations: Chris Samnee
Introduction: Michael Moorcock
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon is a book that won plaudits when it first came out back in 2000. It is a story about two comic creators, Czech artist Joe Kavalier and his cousin, Brooklyn born writer Sammy Clay, set before, during and after World War Two. However this tale of Jewish culture in New York is also filled to the rafters with the spirit of comics. Chabon is a very well-regarded modern author but he has made no secret of his love of the four-colour medium. The introduction here by fantasy legend MIchael Moorcock puts it all into context for those who haven’t encountered Chabon’s wondrous tale before. Kavalier and Clay is a genre story with the trappings of a literary novel and Chabon manages to fuse the two worlds with a style and pizzazz that very few have succeeded before him. The book also talks about the Jewish immigrant experience, something which has been at the heart of US comics since they started back in the 1930s.
There is an elegant simplicity and beauty to Chabon’s turn of phrase throughout and he makes it look so easy. Chris Samnee’s illustrations bring extra life to Chabon’s rich world and his simple linework belies the skill and craft that makes up the creation of his drawings, the way that the finest comic illustrators have done since the early days of comics.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is a tale of aspiration, hope, loyalty and the American dream, shown through the prism of arguably one of the most American artforms, the comic book, and yet again The Folio Society have crafted a beautiful edition of Chabon’s seminal work. For people who have previously read this book, the illustrated slipcase edition is an exquisite representation of a much-loved book and for those who have never read it before, this is a lovely introduction to this novel. Admittedly the cover price is a little high but again the Folio Society have pulled out all the stops to make a book worthy of inclusion on any bibliphiles shelves. Comic fans will also devour Chris Samnee’s unique illustrations.
The Folio Society edition of The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay by Michael Chabon, introduced by Michael Moorcock and illustrated by Chris Samnee, is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com