Five Wounds - Jonathan Walker, Dan Hallett

Jonathan Walker’s ‘Five Wounds’ is a Magnificent Bastard

A few months ago when I reviewed Jonathan Walker’s Five Wounds: An Illuminated Novel, I called the illustrated novel “a bit of a bastardised mongrel.”

Turns out Jonathan couldn’t agree more; over at John Scalzi’s Whatever he argues the strengths of such a format in an insightful piece on the thought process behind his and Dan Hallett’s illustrated tome:

Bastardry has its advantages too … In an illustrated novel, the pictures are not part of the narrative continuity in the way that successive frames in a comic book are. They do not have to carry the burden of explaining what is happening, since that information is provided in the text; and because they are freed from this obligation, it’s possible to use them to do other things.

In couldn’t recommend Five Wounds: An Illuminated Novel more. An accomplished, multifaceted work that follows the twisted fates of five sympathetic freaks in what is essentially an alternate-history Venice, its synthesis of words and images is effective enough to change anyone’s preconceptions about them thar picture books.

Five Wounds - Jonathan Walker, Dan Hallett
Five Wounds – Jonathan Walker, Dan Hallett

A chapter from the novel can be downloaded here.



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