With gentle humor and a keen eye for revelatory detail, Neufeld explores religion and spirituality, politics and personalities, and the mysteries of everyday life. From the creator of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge and the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller The Influencing Machine: Brook Gladstone On the Media .
In A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe), autobiographical cartoonist Josh Neufeld takes us on a dramatic tour of places as exotic and different as Thailand, Singapore, and the former Yugoslavia. Highlights include Neufeld and traveling companion Sari Wilson’s stint as extras in a Chinese-language Singaporean soap opera, a train trip through war-torn Serbia, and a near-disastrous cave adventure in Thailand.
With gentle humor and a keen eye for the revelatory detail, Neufeld explores religion and spirituality, politics and personalities, and the mysteries of everyday life. His stories reflect the backpacker’s conflicted feelings: a yearning for adventure mixed with homesickness and a sense of disconnection, trapped in a reality constantly in flux.
In the collection’s title story, Neufeld illustrates how the tensions and fears involved in travel through a strange country are dispelled by a Thai monk’s blessing. In “On a Mission,” Neufeld contrasts the viewpoints of American Baptist missionaries in northern Thailand with the traditions of a Buddhist festival. And the book’s longest story, “Cremations, Cubicles, and Cant,” is a brand-new 20-page tale about the death of Neufeld’s grandmother, which contrasts her Jewish funeral service with a Balinese cremation ceremony; it forms the emotional heart of the book.
Evoking both Tintin-creator Hergé and “comics journalist” Joe Sacco, “Neufeld’s stories operate on a very human level, and his art reflects that with its careful depictions of people from different cultures and backgrounds.” [iComics] Throughout the collection, Neufeld uses the comics form to experiment with narrative and point-of-view. The themes and conventions of the eight stories in A Few Perfect Hours will resonate with readers both within and outside the comics world.
Comics Worth Reading observes that Neufeld’s comics “provide a street-level view of other cultures, with nothing whitewashed. . . . The stories often remind us of the point of travelling to experience and come to terms with the unknown.”
|Product dimensions:||6.63(w) x 10.13(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Josh Neufeld: Josh is the creator of the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated book A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge , and the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller The Influencing Machine: Brook Gladstone On the Media . He was a longtime artist for Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor .
Table of Contents
|A Few Perfect Hours: Bangkok, Thailand - Chaos and confusion...sanctuary in a Buddhist temple||1|
|Travel Tip #6: How to Squat||15|
|Travel Tip #13: Bathing in the Tropics||16|
|The Cave of Fear: Soppong, Thailand - Eight hours in a dark, water-filled cave||19|
|Tribal Rituals, Part I: On a Mission: Nakhon Phanom, Thailand - Stranded...salvation...new perspectives... Baptists and Buddhists||31|
|Travel Tip #3: Less Weight in the Bag||45|
|Mr. Ong's Organic Farm: Penang, Malaysia - Sustainable agriculture versus the forces of industrialization...a day's work||47|
|How to Star in a Singaporean Soap Opera: Singapore - Extras on Chinese-language TV...how Singaporeans view the West||59|
|Travel Tip #45: Gynecology on the Go||69|
|The Balkan Express, Part I: The Serbian Bear: Serbia - Traveling from Istanbul to Prague...trampled by wartime nationalism...peach schnapps||73|
|The Balkan Express, Part II: The Ice Cream Man: Belgrade, Serbia - Practicing English on two travelers in a train station||81|
|Tribal Rituals, Part II: Cremations, Cubicles, and Cant: Prague, Chicago, Bali, and New York - Death, religion, and ritual...saying farewell||89|