Monday, 20 April 2009

Gentleman Jim by Raymond Briggs

Published by Drawn & Quarterly Books
Distributed by Raincoast Books

Jim has a steady job working in the public toilets, a job he is really good at. During his breaks he takes time to read the papers and see what new job opportunities are available but it seems like every job needs 'levels' these days. Life was so much easier back in the days of the old west, or even during the times of Dick Turpin. Gosh those times looked exciting. After spending 12 years thinking about switching jobs, Jim finally decides to look at an alternative life and soon finds that although he has more excitement in his life now, it's not the good kind.

I loved this book. I fell in love with the work of Raymond Briggs when I first saw The Snowman (which I still have on DVD along with Father Christmas.) I hadn't heard of Gentleman Jim and was further surprised to see that it's one of the first graphic novels ever published. The illustrations are vivid, brilliant, wonderfully detailed and often rich and vibrant. The story itself is heartwarming and inspirational while also terribly sad in places. That said, it's also greatly entertaining and caused me to laugh out loud more than a few times.

Easily one of my favourite reads this year.

Preview can be seen at:

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