The Armed Garden and Other Stories

Overview

A triptych of mythical histories from the 8th and 15th centuries, by the creator of Epileptic.
David B., the creator of the acclaimed Epileptic, gives full rein to his fascination with history, magic and gods, not to mention grand battles, in this literate, witty, and absorbing collection of stories — all based on historical fact, or at least historical legend, and delineated in a striking stylized two-color format.
“The Veiled Prophet”: During...
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Overview

A triptych of mythical histories from the 8th and 15th centuries, by the creator of Epileptic.
David B., the creator of the acclaimed Epileptic, gives full rein to his fascination with history, magic and gods, not to mention grand battles, in this literate, witty, and absorbing collection of stories — all based on historical fact, or at least historical legend, and delineated in a striking stylized two-color format.
“The Veiled Prophet”: During the 8th century (the time of Harun al-Rashid, the Caliph of 1001 Nights fame), Hakim al-Muqanna, the lowly Persian fabric dyer, is assaulted and enveloped by a piece of white cloth come from the sky. When a bystander recognizes in the folds of the cloth the visage of Abu-Muslim, defender of the oppressed, al-Muqanna becomes a prophet and great leader — and within a year his followers have defeated seven armies sent to stop him!
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“The Armed Garden,” set in the 15th century, tells the story of the bloody quest for a Paradise on Earth. Rohan, a humble Prague blacksmith, is visited by Adam and Even who urge him lead his followers, soon dubbed “Adamites,” on this mission. They soon must contend, bloodily, with the rival Paradise-seekers the “Taborites,” led by John Zizka.
“The Drum Who Fell in Love,” a sequel of sorts, begins with Zizka’s death: His people have him skinned and his skin stripped onto a drum, and the drum, speaking in Zizka’s voice, leads the Taborites into battle anew. But the touch of a beautiful girl softens Zizka’s spirit, and the unlikely couple begin a journey together…
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Editorial Reviews

Glen Weldon - NPR.org
“The Armed Garden and Other Stories is the witty, finely executed work of an artist uniquely capable of capturing both the fervid ecstasy of belief and the dull, heartsick ache left behind once it cools.”
Joe Sacco
“David B. is clearly one of the best storytellers in the medium of comics.”
Jason Lutes
“David B. works a real kind of deeply human magic on the page.”
Adam W. Kepler - The New York Times
“The stories are held together by the artist’s sense of humor and tone, not to mention the striking, not-quite-black-and-white, two-toned art. …[F]antastical events [are] juxtaposed with a to the point, almost ho-hum narration, suggesting the idea that these legends are common occurrences. If only that were so.”
Hillary Brown - Paste
“This slim volume is finely edited, and its narrative tone resides on the border between fairy stories and unbowdlerized folk tales.... The drawings, printed in two crisp colors,would be worth the price of the book if it were stripped of words. . . The Armed Garden will delight you.”
Sean T. Collins - Robot 6
“Religious fundamentalism... has worn a thousand faces in a millennia-­long carnevale procession of war and weirdness, and David B. paints portraits of three of its masks with bloody brilliance. Focusing on long-­forgotten heresies and treating the most outlandishl egends about them as fact, B.’s high­-contrast linework sets them all alight with their own incandescent madness.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606994627
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 9/12/2011
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David B. splits his time between France and Italy. His graphic novels include the award-winning Epileptic, The Littlest Pirate King, and The Armed Garden and Other Stories.
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