Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam - Ann Marie Fleming

one of my first questions when reading this is why would a filmmaker, who is a self-admittedly bad artist, decide to tell the story of the search for the truth about the life of her maternal great-grandfather in graphic novel format rather than through the medium of film? just happen to be wondering. anyway, fleming sets off on this journey to learn more about her great-grandfather who was apparently a famous and influential magician of the vaudeville era, a contemporary of houdini. her research takes her through the states, to austria, china and australia, and slowly, piece by piece she is able to put together some understanding of who this man was. it is an interesting genealogical road trip that is told through captioned photographs and poorly drawn stick person characters. an interesting read. seems to tie in well with gene luen yang's "american born chinese" in terms of searching for cultural identity, or jason lute's "houdini: the handcuff king" in terms of a historical document regarding vaudeville era magicians. however, i prefer both yang and lute's work to fleming's.

No comments: