North Adam Transcript calls Tom Gauld's latest "intelligent, insightful"

“The Kiosk: Classic literature on the defense” / North Adams Transcript / John Seven / May 24, 2013

....Scottish cartoonist Tom Gauld's work is seen in our country and, for the last eight years, on a weekly basis in the Guardian's Saturday review section. He made a big splash last year with his brilliant graphic novel "Goliath," which recast the Bible myth from the giant's point of view and added sympathy and insight to his situation.

This new book collects Gauld's newspaper work and captures the multi-faceted mind behind the drawings. With a sense of humor that is sometimes erudite and other times silly -- in a good way -- Gauld's interest focuses largely on the literary, particularly the classic canon, but also poking fun at genre cliches, while at the same time pitting pulp tropes up against "serious fiction" in order to take down the snobbery. The title of the book directly references this sentiment, the idea that genre fiction might be silly sometimes because of its props and even predictable, but you can't beat fun.

And Gauld's work isn't all paneled cartoons. He also offers maps -- such as the hilarious "The Street Tome Waits Grew Up On" -- charts, fake game screens and even diagrams, both color-coded and ven, as well as other usable keys. There's also the plainly incomprehensible, as with his lovely "The Reason I Ws Late Explained In a Diagram."

The next time you pass around another predictable gag from The Oatmeal, keep Tom Gauld in mind for further cartoon exploration. Intelligent, insightful, he doesn't create cartoons of information you already know -- and he doesn't cover ground that everyone else does.

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