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3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Blue is the debut graphic novel of Australian cartoonist Pat Grant. It's a fascinating blend of autobiography and fiction with a sci-fi twist: in a seaside Australian town struggling with alien tentacle-creature immigration, a trio of aimless teenagers skip school to go surfing, chase rumors of a dead body, and avoid dealing with their own fears.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published March 2012 by Top Shelf
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Seth Hahne
Blue by Pat Grant
[My old home, my old home...]

Growing up at El Morro in Southern California, a point break that hit beautifully on a south swell, I had the pleasure of an easy intimacy with the ocean. Growing up the son of a hippie surfer-artist, who surfs even to this day, I had the pleasure of ready access to Surfer Magazine. And to Surfing—and I confess to not knowing the difference between the two. At least one of them had surf comics in them. I grew up seeing the work of Bob Penuelas and Rick Griffin (who...more
"Surfing with the Aliens: Pat Grant’s Blue"

[A version of this review ran in German in the Swiss comics journal STRAPAZIN.]

If Pat Grant had conceived BLUE as a Hollywood movie rather than a graphic novel, his agent’s pitch might have sounded something like this: “Imagine STAND BY ME meets DISTRICT 9 set in a small Australian surf town.” I’m not sure how many film studios would have bit on that premise, but in Grant’s deft hands the concept works out brilliantly as a comic.

The narrator of BLUE is...more
ive been on a graphic novel kick. i wanted to love this book. i even wanted to like it. But i can't. i know it tries to make a statement about economic decline.. immigration and people and communities have a hard time dealing with immigrants... but in the end it feels not so much like fluff but barely scaped surface of.. hey.. maybe we shouldn't hate people who look different to us and change things... you can come away from this book thinking both ways. we need be colorblind yet thi...more
Mark Schlatter
Very underwhelmed. From the preview, I thought I was getting a mix of personal narrative and a slight science fictional take on immigration and racism. But the read was almost all personal narrative (with a strong surfer focus) and the larger issues just faded. Nice art, but I did not identify with the protagonist and felt like the plot dropped out.
The art is great, and there's a coming of age aspect that really gets me, always, but it's pretty weak at dealing with the racism/immigration subtext it sets up. The essay at the end is about surfing, and that makes sense!, but the lack of further exploration makes the blue creatures thread that much weaker. It's a shame.
Maybe it was the gore. Maybe it was the f-bomb dropped repeatedly. REPEATEDLY. Maybe it was how ALL the characters were so very unlikeable, downright disgusting, almost hideously repugnant.

*sigh* Try to find something of worth here: I read the afterword, and understand what/why the author wrote/illustrated what he did, sort of. This was a VERY... graphic graphic novel in some ways; yes, I GET the fact that he way trying to show the repressive circumstances he grew up in. But did he really consta...more
Jun 04, 2014 Aj added it
I really thought this book was really weird but kinda interesting at the same time. If you like a book that is really out there and defiantly SicFi/Fantasy well this is a book for you. It is about kids (but not just regular kids) skip school to go surfing and spot something.
World Literature Today
"At ninety-six pages, its promise may exceed its reach, but the result is provocative enough to keep an eye on Grant as a creator with the potential for greatness." - Rob Vollmar, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

This book was reviewed in the January 2013 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website:
Ian Roditi
¿Recuerdas ese día?

Ese día en el que te escapaste de la escuela con tus amigos, ese día en el que todo era mejor y te quejabas de que las cosas no fueran mejor, ese día cuando las cosas eran diferentes y no podías evitar echarle un ojo a la catástrofe.

De eso trata esto, de ese día.
Sean Llewellyn Williams
A really terrific graphic novel, but I loved it particularly for the essay at the end.
Memorable. This graphic novel has two story lines: A group of kids skip school to go surfing and view a dead body. A community deals with a wave of immigration, the ensuing changes in everyone’s lifestyles, and a surge of racism. You can see a great contrast in the art - the beauty of the beaches and the waves, the ugliness of the decaying city, the brutishness of the townsfolk, and the innocence of the newcomers. Who, incidentally, appear to be aliens. The book was inspired by Australian surf c...more
Well written book about a childhood incident in Australia. I enjoyed the quirky, stylized drawings, and the glimpse into Australian life for kids about 20 years ago. The concluding essay on graphic novel history was thoughtful and interesting, again offering a look into the art from from the perspective of Australia.
Artur Coelho
Fico um pouco sem saber o que pensar deste livro. A história tem um cunho fortemente pessoal e gira à volta da nostalgia da adolescência, do gosto pelo surf, de mudanças pessoais e sociais. O narrador relembra momentos da sua adolescência na cidade onde vive, uma época que lhe parece mais pura antes da chegada de imigrantes e da falência do principal empregador que modificaram profundamente a localidade.

Se a história tem pouca coerência, o estilo visual de linha precisa com um cunho surreal dei...more
Deborah Biancotti
From the Aurealis Awards Judges' Report 2012:

"The central story of this work is used to explore themes of localism and the nature of racism, immigration and how people adapt (or don’t adapt) to change. The use of the grey palette with the bright blue of the title characters is clever, and integral to the storytelling. Page layout is well-used and varies effectively to make its points. The characters are an interesting mix of old-school, underground surf culture with a modern vibe and overall thi...more
great book. just beautiful FANTASTIC art (as one comic artist to another I understand how well is technique is) i love the back stories and side stories, and what an interesting version to be from the view of his teenage self. I absolutely hatesd the characters, but Im pretty sure Im supposed to. After all, who doesnt hate teenagers? Dark and sad with some casual banter and humor mixed in made it really come alive for me.
Tate Ryan
I loved the art work, I hated the swearing but thoroughly enjoyed the book... As an Australian, i felt it captured the common sentiments of localism and racism that is common in some of our towns and communities without exploring it too deeply and allowing the story of the kids and their surf adventure to unfold. The characters are unlikable and I could relate as I grew up with many similar kids in my beach neighbourhood.
Take Stephen King's "The Body" (aka "Stand by Me"), move it to rural Australia, add in some aliens (who don't do much other than be blue and different) and you get a story of childhood and xenophobia. There's some beautiful cartooning here, and while I think the alien theme doesn't add enough to really stand out on its own, this is well worth reading. (The whole thing is free online, but the print edition is quite nice.)
Oz Barton
No, seriously, everything about this book is amazing. The art is thick and alive, the story is vast and haunting at the same time that it's small enough to happen to a few kids on a single day, and the author is so cool that he licensed this work under a Creative Commons. The essay in the back — about comics, memory, history, and the relationship between them — is worth reading twice.
Dawn Rutherford
One of the odder alien invasion books I've ever read, with zany/rough Australian characters complaining about the Blue taking over their little town, much as one might complain about any other group of immigrants moving in and "ruining" everything for the last group of immigrants. I very much enjoyed the use of color in what otherwise is somewhat typical indie comic style.
Feb 17, 2013 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I liked Blue, an sort of Australian "Stand By Me" of sorts. A group of rebellious kids take a journey down the train tracks to see a dead body. The setting is a small Australian coastal town that has seen its identity change with more tourists and immigrants moving in (shown as alien like creatures.) It's a nice story. I enjoyed Grant's writing quite a bit.
Emilia P
This book was cool! And weird! And morally complicated! People have a hard time with immigrants in their communities! Very good sense of place, and sense of weirdness, and nice illustrations and stuff. Totally unique and strongly personal. Hoorah.
Didn't get a good sense of any of the characters. The plot and overall point of the story were both very confused and not clear throughout. I was expecting a lot more, to be honest. :/
Mindy Reads
Wish it had been longer and delved into the back story of the "blue people". It's well drawn and beautifully colored, it just lacked a little story wise for me.
The adventures of surfing and xenophobia in Australia. Well, it's deeper than that, but I feel like that about explains it.
great art!!!! kinda hard getting used to aussie slang.

entire book can be read online at
strong 4 stars, just shy of 5 - The art is absolutely beautiful and the story is unnerving and challenging, good stuff.
Especially loved the illustration on this one. Bonus points for the surf comics history lesson at the end.
Michelle Lloyd
I see what you were trying to do there, Mr Grant. I just don't think you quite did it.
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