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Saint Cole

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
This sophomore graphic novel from Noah Van Sciver may seem like a left turn from his critically acclaimed debut graphic novel biography of Abraham Lincoln (The Hypo), yet upon closer reflection, it showcases Van Sciver's preoccupation with pathos and the human condition. Saint Cole depicts four days in the life of a twenty-eight-year-old suburbanite named Joe, who works at ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published February 22nd 2015 by Fantagraphics
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan Philipzig
Jun 18, 2015 Jan Philipzig rated it really liked it
Existential, gritty, authentic, miserable, awkward, fresh, darkly funny, heartfelt, unpredictable, ambiguous - I love Noah Van Sciver's storytelling style! Thank you, Dan, for bringing "the master" to my attention! :)
David Schaafsma
Jun 27, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-alt
I just read Van Sciver's Youth is Wasted, a collection of short stories, and I said in my review for it that I preferred the longer ones. So I get my wish in this novella about a loser in his twenties who is spinning out of control. This is a dark tale and he is basically an anti-hero, a jerk, and the tale seems bitter, but maybe more importantly, honest, real. I really think this feels like a huge leap in his storytelling and artistic skills.

It also feels like a lot of slacker/loser comics by
Apr 19, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
Well, folks, it's time to head home. On the title page of this book, Noah Van Sciver declares this comic to be a novel. Not a graphic novel, but a novel. And I absolutely and completely agree. Van Sciver has single-handedly cartooned the first real comics-novel. Heart-wrenching, depressing, disturbing, it feels as if Bukowski had written it himself. But of course, Bukowski didn't. Noah Van Sciver did.
This book is extremely refreshing, coming from alternative scene. A lot of comics I read from G
Derek Parker
Mar 17, 2015 Derek Parker rated it really liked it
One of the joys of Noah Van Sciver's writing is its realistic quality, it authenticity and true-to-lifeness without coming across as simple, outright autobiography. Many of Van Sciver's shorter comics -- for which he is better known -- have this quality. One way of reading Saint Cole is as a longer-form exercise in what he does with shorter fiction. Call it a "graphic novel," if you prefer, or perhaps even closer to something like a novella. The "lived" feeling of this story, right down to its ...more
It was getting worse and worse and worse--I get stressed out reading books about people who are more or less decent who make progressively bad decisions in succession. And the then the ending happened, and I thought, okay, maybe this dude has a chance to get himself out of this mess. Maybe he can make it.
Apr 21, 2015 Robert rated it really liked it
Another gritty, darkly funny tale of a downwardly spiraling twenty-nothing from the master, Noah Van Sciver. Van Sciver's art is just getting better and better, and his dialogue and characterizations all carry the ring of truth. The ending came as a complete surprise (though clues are scattered throughout); it is one I will not soon forget.
Aug 19, 2015 Andy rated it really liked it
This Ignatz Award-nominated book shows Noah Van Sciver at the top of his form with a realism that's both grim and at the same time humorous. You won't see the ending coming, but you'll think about it for a long time.
Jan 10, 2016 John rated it did not like it
No thanks.
Stan Yan
Nov 01, 2016 Stan Yan rated it it was amazing
Reading this story is like watching a clever magician. While I'm reading this depressing, slice-of-life story, I not realizing with his other hand, Van Sciver's actually crafting a surprise ending. Loved it!
Hagit Ingber
Nov 17, 2016 Hagit Ingber rated it it was ok
Loved the art couldn't stand the plot. It did get me through a lazy afternoon...
Matt Graupman
Aug 22, 2015 Matt Graupman rated it it was amazing
In one word, "Saint Cole," Noah Van Sciver's sophomore graphic novel, is intense (it seems odd, however, considering his prodigious output, that this is only Van Sciver's second proper graphic novel). Using the same sharp eye for detail and ear for dialogue as he did in his historical comic, "The Hypo," Noah tells the heart-wrenching modern day story of Joe, an alcoholic screw-up with a young family to provide for and a dead-end job that can't sustain them all. To make matters worse, Joe makes ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Andy rated it liked it
Bleak, bleak, bleak. Wow... this was a tough read in the sense that there is nothing really redeeming about the character of Joe, and the one character that you (me) actually like, is barely present in the story. I can see how this story could be a commentary on some people's lives, but the twist and turns that the story take can be really hard and disgusting to face... and I guess that that is part of the appeal of the book. I'll tell you one thing, if this is a life of someone you know, get ...more
Anthony Vacca
Apr 22, 2016 Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it
A very engrossing and grungy existential yarn starring that deadbeat you used to buy weed from. You remember that guy? Scruffy. Crappy gages in his ear. Well, he still has the gages. And he managed to knock some girl up. Nowadays he busts ass trying to make ends meet as a waiter for a pizza joint while his wife and nine-fingered mother-in-law sit on their asses all day at the apartment whose rent he can barely afford to pay. He also kind of has a pretty bad drinking problem. And he's totally ...more
Apr 26, 2015 Jacob rated it it was amazing
Public library copy.

This was an excellent slice of life indy comic book . I happened to have seen the book on the shelf and recognized the name "Van Sciver." This is by Noah VS. I'm familiar with an Ethan Van Sciver as we are of similar age but I don't know or care if there's any relation.

At any rate, I found the book great despite the main character being such a low life, but that's what makes it great: its honesty at depicting the characters, the setting, and situations all seemed so convinci
Zack! Empire
Jul 25, 2016 Zack! Empire rated it it was ok
Shelves: indie-comics
Didn't really care for this. Just doesn't feel like its really a story. Just a series of events that center around the main character. The art is nice though. I like that Noah doesn't restrain himself to having any rules as far as the page layouts go. Sometimes he will draw a page with panel boarders and the very next page has none. It gives the book a nice visual that I think it part of the appeal of Noah's work.
Oct 26, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it
Wow. This was one dark read. Alcoholic father/husband/loser Joe leads a tough life. He hates his job, begins getting really drunk at work (by stealing from the restaurant bar no less), and then his mother-in-law (pothead, drunk, meth user) moves in. His wife does not work and Joe begins to look elsewhere for love - the 17-year old sister of a co-worker. Not surprisingly, things do not end well, but they do end surprisingly. Van Sciver is a true storyteller. Holy cow!
Ali Diaz-Tello
Jul 07, 2016 Ali Diaz-Tello rated it it was amazing
A massive bummer. I love it! Definitely an ending that sticks with you. The details also really made it for me, nuanced panels and feelings captured all too well. When Joe is serving a family pizza and he's viewing them through the drunken/depressed wavy spiral haze. Other small things...the book jacket decoration and the setup of where we see the very first panel for a second time. It messed with my prediction for the ending and I loved that. Just made the ending that much better.
Sasha Boersma
Jul 14, 2016 Sasha Boersma rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This had a lot going for it - art style is similar to that of Chester Brown's memoirs, dark story of a troubled character, but it just kept dragging. Now, it's entirely possible that's what the creator intended - to give the reader the same feeling of helplessness.

But then the ending...? What?
Brian Alan Ellis
Dec 20, 2015 Brian Alan Ellis rated it it was amazing
"A dark thrill ride of bad feelings, bad decisions, bad omens... It was like my emotions were constantly being dunked on by Shaq. The last panel left me speechless. Probably the closest thing to Dostoevsky a comic book has ever come. Amazing."

Excerpt from

Mar 17, 2015 Krystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Graphics weren't super great but the story was kind of amazing. I could feel the intensity of that dudes downward spiral.
Mar 03, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing
A gritty graphic novel that captures a few days in the life of a down-on-his-luck guy in his late twenties. This book makes me want to curl up and read more Bukowski.
Alex Firer
May 17, 2015 Alex Firer rated it really liked it
You guys. This book was so upsetting. Noah Van Scier is the Dostoyevsky of white trash and HO BOY. HE'S DONE IT AGAIN I GUESS.
Jen Jones
Aug 04, 2015 Jen Jones rated it it was amazing
Mix Julie Doucet and Joe Ollman together and you have this graphic novel. Dark and lovely writing, nice illustration.
Ivano Porpora
Nov 06, 2015 Ivano Porpora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sensazionale. Se "Dammi risposte complesse" è stato il mio mantra 2013, "Com'è che tutto mi è sfuggito di mano?" è quello di ora, di oggi, di adesso.
Mel rated it it was ok
Jul 13, 2015
Tucker Stone
Tucker Stone rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2016
Marys Niesink
Marys Niesink rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2015
Cooper Callinan
Cooper Callinan rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2016
William K
William K rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2015
Andrew rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2016
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[copied from:]

I am THE one and only Noah Van Sciver, cartoonist/comic strip artist and illustrator. I’m best known for my alternative comic book series Blammo and my weekly comic strip 4 Questions which appears every week in the alternative newspaper Westword. My work has appeared in The Best American comics 2011, Mad magazine, Sunstone, The Comics Journal, M
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