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3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  58 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 (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sam Quixote
Jun 09, 2015 Sam Quixote rated it it was ok
Pat Grant’s Blue sees an Aussie man reminiscing on his adolescence – before THEY came. The aliens (a stand-in for immigrants) who took over the white population and brought their own culture with them – how this Aussie oik hates multi-culturalism and racial diversity! He also recounts the time he and his two friends “wagged” (skipped) school to go look at some poor bastard that got run over by a train. So it’s basically Stephen King’s The Body with a smattering of District 9.

That’s not to say it
Seth T.
Aug 02, 2012 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
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
"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
Jul 25, 2012 Deja rated it it was ok
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
Mar 23, 2013 Clara rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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.
Mark Schlatter
Apr 23, 2012 Mark Schlatter rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
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.
Jan 03, 2013 Amanda rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
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
Feb 27, 2013 Ian Roditi rated it liked it
¿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.
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.
Sean Williams
Sep 11, 2012 Sean Williams rated it really liked it
A really terrific graphic novel, but I loved it particularly for the essay at the end.
Aug 08, 2015 Esther rated it it was amazing
Blue is a graphic novel set in the fictional small Australian costal town of Bolton. It centres around the day teens Christian, Verne and Muck wag school to go surfing, what begins as an ordinary day but that resonates in the memory of narrator Christian for years afterwards. For him, it marks the beginning of Bolton’s downfall, the day he first sees the blue foreigners in his all-Aussie town, the day he and his mates go to look at the body of the bloke who died on the train tracks, the day the ...more
Deborah Biancotti
May 23, 2013 Deborah Biancotti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oz
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
Artur Coelho
Apr 28, 2012 Artur Coelho rated it liked it
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
Mar 26, 2014 Dar rated it liked it
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
Sep 16, 2016 Sian rated it liked it
Shelves: for-uni
So, in all honesty, there wasn't much of a story to Blue, and that has nothing to do with the fact that it only took me half an hour to read. However, it's clear that the main point of Blue is the idea behind it rather than the story, and how this idea is depicted. Using aliens in place of immigrants was an interesting thing to do, as was the rather child-like art style, yet they fit together very well. I'm not sure if I enjoyed the book exactly, but it was interesting to read a graphic novel by ...more
Tate Ryan
Dec 10, 2013 Tate Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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.
Oct 27, 2013 John rated it really liked it
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.)
There's a lot of potential in the story. When I came to the end of the comic, I genuinely thought it was just a chapter ending, leading into a cool interlude about the history of surf comics that would surely have another good chapter's worth of story following it. So I was pretty surprised when I finished the surf comics section and found... nothing else. I really enjoyed the stylized line quality and minimal color palette, but I was expecting more.
Feb 26, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 09, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 02, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I am in love with this slice of seaside Australian life. The limited color palette, the characters, the story all combine into a poignant coming of age fable. And be sure to read the essay at the end--at once a history of surf comic art, and a treatise on memory and growing up, it is worth every word.
Feb 05, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it
I'm just a little confused as to what I was supposed to take away from this graphic novel. I'm not sure whether the messages were portrayed well enough although I absolutely loved the art style. I did enjoy the story quite a bit, I think I just wanted everything fleshed out a bit more. Grant's small essays in the back were a fun read on Australian comic culture and surf comics.
May 10, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok
I was disappointed with this book, after reading a teaser online that looked awesome. Maybe the culture is just too foreign to me to evoke a kind of nostalgia that would have made it better... I was just so confused by the direction it took, especially after reading the afterword by the author (which was great! - confusing me even further).
Oz Barton
Jul 20, 2013 Oz Barton rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 22, 2013 Dawn Rutherford rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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.
Nov 28, 2015 Nina rated it it was ok
BLUE probably has a significant meaning for Pat Grant himself, but I was not impressed. What I do think is interesting - I give all stars to that particular part, and recommend reading is "Genealogy of the Boofhead: images, memory and Australian Surf Comics", which you find in the back of this book!
Mar 02, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
This is a bit different from the other comics I've read lately, and it was a welcome departure. It was good to read a book set in a rural town with economic struggles, facing some issues similar to places I've called home. The art style was also an appreciated departure. I am glad the author decided to add his own history of surf comics at the end of the book. It was an interesting read.
Feb 17, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
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
Feb 18, 2012 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
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.
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