Cravan: Mystery Man of the Twentieth Century

Cravan: Mystery Man of the Twentieth Century

by Mike Richardson, Rick Geary
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This is a true story about the most interesting person you've never heard of: Arthur Cravan, major figure in pre-WWI cutting-edge art circles, was among the greatest mysterious figures of the Twentieth Century. A self-confessed thief, forger, and con-artist, he used a roster of assumed names and false identities. He was known, at various times, as a novelist, poet

Overview

This is a true story about the most interesting person you've never heard of: Arthur Cravan, major figure in pre-WWI cutting-edge art circles, was among the greatest mysterious figures of the Twentieth Century. A self-confessed thief, forger, and con-artist, he used a roster of assumed names and false identities. He was known, at various times, as a novelist, poet, painter, art critic, lecturer, publisher, and the lightweight boxing champion of France. Always a rebellious, restless spirit, this dedicated rule-breaker was a political radical whose friendship with Leon Trotsky earned him the surveillance of the U.S. government-even through his immigration to Mexico with his wife, the poet Mina Loy. In 1918, at the age of thirty-one, the fascinating physical giant vanished without a trace, and-despite several supposed sightings over the years-was never seen again. Is it possible that he became the mysterious, reclusive novelist B. Traven, who wrote The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's not known what became of Arthur Cravan-boxer, poet, adventurer, hoaxer and Oscar Wilde's nephew-after he disappeared while sailing to Mexico in 1918. This graphic novel biography presents the larger-than-life incidents from his life, including various daring escapes, schemes and a scam involving boxing matches with Jack Johnson. Along the way, Cravan runs into such figures as Leon Trotsky and marries poet Mina Loy. Richardson even adds to the mystery by speculating that Cravan was also reclusive B. Traven, author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Geary, creator of the outstanding Treasury of Victorian Murder series, is an excellent choice to illustrate and co-write this historical overview. His distinctive pen-and-ink style captures the reality of the times, especially when it comes to establishing settings like cluttered sitting rooms or angry groups of men in striped suits. Cravan embarrasses his family but claims it's all for experience to become a writer. Their good advice-"If you want to write, sit down and write"-is ignored in favor of more sensation seeking. The result is a life of violence and dada, a colorful footnote to the history of the era. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Arthur Cravan was a real person, but few facts are known about his life. What is known is that he was involved in boxing, the Dada art movement in New York, and several forgeries. He was even under surveillance by the U.S. government for a suspected communist connection. He was also connected to poet Mina Loy and disappeared in 1918. He seems to have deliberately tried to obscure his identity and history. Richardson and Geary present Cravan's story in comic format, mixing fact with speculation, especially that Cravan and B. Traven-author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madres-were the same person. It is difficult to tell fact from embellishment though, as the story is presented without identifying any sources. Richardson presents a number of reasons to suspect a connection between the two men, mostly in a short endnote to the book. The same note claims that Richardson has researched Cravan for years and mentions the existence of other works on the man. Such a colorful life should have made for an entertaining story, but instead the short story jumps from one event to another with textbook dryness. Geary's entertaining black-and-white art, however, brings an otherwise choppy story to life. The format should entice teens to pick it up, and some may even be intrigued enough to seek out more information about the man themselves. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J G (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Graphic Novel Format). 2005, Dark Horse Books, 72p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.
—Teresa Copeland

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593072919
Publisher:
Dark Horse Comics
Publication date:
11/16/2005
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >