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Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened
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Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  42 reviews
“The inventive writers and illustrators who crafted these transporting stories just may convince you to trash your BlackBerry and buy some stamps.”
–Frank Warren, author of PostSecret

You’ve seen them at flea markets and in antique shops and used-book stores across the country: Vintage postcards inscribed with handwritten notes, evocative messages that capture a thought, an
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Villard (first published July 24th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 233)
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Sarah T.
I'm kind of disappointed that this book has so many negative reviews for this anthology because I really enjoyed it.

I work in a library and as everybody knows who has ever worked in a library, you come across a lot of found objects (mostly because people forget to check the books they're returning for their book markers); playing cards, bills, odd, rambling letters, and on occasion a postcard. That's kind of why I liked this book so much--it reminds me of my shelving days and finding things in
I liked the premise of this book more than I liked the book itself.

Premise: The editor offered real postcards (old ones that had been sent through the mail) to comic book writers and illustrators. The writers let their imaginations run wild in writing stories inspired by the messages written on the postcards. The illustrators did the art work.

The book was a good read, a good way to pass the time, but I didn't find anything in it spectacular.
Tzu-mainn Chen
The concept behind this anthology of short comics is intriguing: the editor bought a bunch of antique postcards at various flea markets and sent them out to contributors. The contributors then each picked a single postcard and crafted a story out of the picture on the front and the words on the back.

The results are. . . mixed. Many of the stories are cramped, as if forced to detail complicated characters and situations in too small of a space. Others are difficult to interpret. Constraining a hi
May 14, 2009 Rhlibrary added it
Shelves: dave-s-picks
Ever found a folded-up, trampled-on, mud-soaked note in the middle of the Target parking lot? Did it say something like “See u at 5:00. Bring your sponge!”? And did you find yourself really wanting to know who the intended recipient was, the purpose of this recipient’s early-evening rendezvous, why in God’s name he or she needed a sponge, and if they’d actually remembered to bring one? If so, or if something close to that has happened to you, I may have a book for you. Postcards is a collection ...more
Natalia Toronchuk
I'm surprised by the number of negative reviews for this book, it was a bit of a tough call for me to put 4/5 rather 5/5, in fact.
I picked this book up and flipped to one of the (many) sad, moving stories and immediately bought it as a gift for my then-boyfriend-now-husband. It's true many of the stories are sad, but I find this makes sense with the medium they're derived from: postcards of people that the artists don't know, almost all of whom have certainly died, and a sense of loss and "miss
With this book, I was looking at the illustration/story design style of a variety of authors and illustrators in one collection to see what appealed to me and what didn't. I'm still figuring it out, but I think I'm drawn more to a simple, rather than busy frame, but with the more "comics" style of text with thought/speech/description bubbles, rather than a bunch of typed text at the bottom of a frame. I really don't like drawings that are full of black ink and lots of motion in a small frame, be ...more
John Beck

Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened is a graphic novel short story collection, built around a premise that I love- each author (or collaborative team) in the collection was given a vintage postcard, and then asked to write a story about how the postcard came to be.

The trouble with postcards is that they're too short. What's there time to say, really? Hello, how are you, all's well, see you soon.

And that's
Sarah Sammis
May 19, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Breenibooks
Shelves: released
Postcards isn't a single graphic novel. Rather, it is sixteen graphic short stories. Jason Rodriguez gave an old postcard to sixteen different writer and artist teams to see what they could create given the information contained on their card. The stories included in this volume are:

* "Blue" by Chris Stevens and Gia-Bao Tran
* "Time" by Tom Beland
* "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland" by Jay Busbee and Tony Fleecs
* "Taken on Faith" by Ande Parks and Joseph Bergin III
* "Send Louis His Underwear"
Cathryn Betz
Stories too short, not enough differentiation between characters. Good premises and ideas for each story, based on the idea that each postcard found had a story, a background a life. I found myself quite drawn to most of them. Even as short stories I think most of them were too short and didn't finish their own tales.

Yes, it's a book of short stories and it's a graphic novel, but I was confused and had to re-read most of them to understand. Each story based on an antique post card.
Emily Bardin
Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened is a graphic novel and also a compilation of stories inspired by the editor's collection of postcards. Each story is written and drawn by a different artist.

I enjoyed the variety of this book. Many types of stories and many emotions were expressed through the stories. I really liked most of the stories, and because they were all so short, it didn't bother me when I couldn't get into some of the stories.
Laken Bowling
This is a graphic novel that involves several stories. The stories are told but different authors. The creator behind the book had all these old postcards and sent them to different people so that they could make up a story that "never really happened" to go along with the writing on the postcards and the meaning for the picture. They put a story together by looking at the postcard picture and reading the words that were written by people who once lived and sent the postcard for some reason or a ...more
Jessica Severs
The concept came about serendipitously — a guy dragged along antiquing with his girlfriend, whom he had taken to Hershey, Pa., for her birthday. Amid all the trinkets, Jason Rodriguez unearthed a shoebox full of old, used postcards.
The graphic-novel editor took these brief, often cryptic snapshots of the lives of regular folks and assembled a talented group of artists, including Harvey Pekar, to extrapolate on the postcards’ stories.
Before each short piece, the postcard is displayed with its ori
I bought this book a few years ago at SDCC and I finally got around to reading it. Writers and artists come together to tell stories based off of older postcards and the messages written on them. It's an interesting exercise, and the stories range from sweet romances to creepy murder mysteries, histories and childhoods to campy superheros. My two favorites were "A Joyous Eastertide," a man's memory of his devoted stepmother, who had Tourette's Syndrome, and "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," a stor ...more
I was so excited when I got this book! I really was, I was like this is perfect, because I collect postcards, and the thought that this book was a collection of stories created by graphic novel authors and artist creating stories based on old used postcards I was so excited. What a horrible disappointment! I mean, every single one of the stories was horrible and depressing, and that is the very last thing that I want to read, I guess if you are into sad, and depressing, and death and despair, th ...more
Doug Stevenson
Okay, this was good because it consists of short clever stories taken from the real messages on the backs of old postcards. The artists and writers take what is written and expand to make a short story. Easy to follow and I have trouble with the direction the panels go sometimes. I'm not a big fan of the dark pen, and the clarity of the message being conveyed is obscure to me in many cases, but this one was fun. There's probably a print novel in one of these stories, sorry, I couldn't see a leng ...more
The premise of this book seems interesting--starting with old postcards, various writers and artist tell short stories about what might have happened. Unfortunately, most of the stories are just as ambiguous and curious as the postcards themselves. Only a tiny handful are at all memorable--some of them are just a random moment in time, like the postcard is, but without adding anything really interesting. Some of them just don't make sense (tic tac toe hustlers?) The art ranges from good to prett ...more
Matt Mazenauer
Somewhere in the vein of Found, this is a more often tragic or bitterweet than funny journey through the imagined stories behind old discarded postcards. The amount of research put into recreating the bygone era of these postcards was sometimes lost on me, because many a story hinged on some unseen custom from that age. Sometimes the stories just seemed to trail off without an end. This might be artistic license by these mostly indie writers, but it left me unsatisfied after a few of the stories ...more
I'm a frequent postcard writer, so I was intrigued by this book of old abandoned postcards turned into comic stories. Most of the 5-10 page stories are pretty good, though as in any anthology, there are some weak entries. I was particularly put off by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner's comic, which was a cursory summary of their lives that added little from the movie American Splendor. On the other hand, my favorites were Phil Hester's story about a stepmother with Tourette's Syndrome, and Stu ...more
I found this a really interesting idea. The editor, a collector of vintage postcards, enlisted his comic book writer and artist friends to present short graphic stories based on the postcards. The concept is so cool and the postcards chosen are fascinating in and of themselves. It was really cool to see where the authors/artists took the stories. I think in nearly every introduction, the editor was saying "well they didn't see the same thing I did when I read this one," which is what makes this ...more
Emilia P
Nov 14, 2007 Emilia P rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: folks
Shelves: comic-books
well, it wasn't the greatest book ever, but it was good bus reading. real old postcards paired with comics imagined out of them...good concept, but sometimes I felt like the stories were a bit forced, and that maybe I wouldn't mind taking a stab at writing some of them. Most of the illustrators seemed to be regular comic book artists (i.e. not the artsy bunch), which was a bit refreshing.

Also, it seemed a little too easy for some of the writers to read lesbian undertones in things written 100 y
I LOVED the concept of this book. Find an old postcard, draw/write a story to explain/go with it. Awesome. I just found the follow-through... really, really weak. And it was oftentimes too difficult to even read what was on the postcard. And then he writes a spiel about "wow, when i read this postcard, i though that's crazy, and i knew that my good friend [fill in the comic's name:] would know what to do..." Ugh, waste of my life- I didn't even read those after the first two. I don't know. Conce ...more
I love the conceit of this book: take an antique postcard, and then create a comic based on the message, picture or both. All the stories are so different from one another, and so different from what I would have come up with if I had been given the postcard. They brought in some wonderful artists and writers for this book. (Although, honestly, I was less than impressed with Pekar's story at the end.) I really hope that they do another collection of these comics, and I would love to read more of ...more
The graphic novel "Postcards" has a very interesting and thought-provoking premise: the editor found/procured old postcards with either cryptic or telling messages from sender to reader. Each team consisting of a writer and illustrator would use one of the postcards as inspiration to tell the story behind it. Some of the stories are clever, funny, sad, or just confusing (only one of the stories was confusing and I feel a little dull-witted for not getting it, but uh... I didn't get it).
Arlene Caruso
Finished this graphic novel in a cozy evening in bed. The premise is that the various authors/artists each had an old postcard and then developed a story around the written text. One thing I miss about living in Las Vegas is that there are few antique shops. Back east, every dusty antique place has a box or two of old postcards that you can thumb through. Each one tells a story. Finally, this book attempts to imagine what those stories could be. I highly recommend this book.
Great concept: real postcards found in various antique shops in the US, and stories imagined around the short paragraphs on the back. The idea to turn this into a graphic novel was brilliant, and I liked seeing so many styles of writing and illustration together. I found the annotations of each card to be distracting and unnecessary, but the stories themselves were entertaining - about 3 or 4 pages of art based on these words, completely out of context.

Natalie Marlin
I came across this work and thought it was an interesting idea. Take old postcards and craft a story based on the messages scribbled on the back. The editor chose cartoonists with a wide range of talent and creativity to comprise this anthology and that is a key part of why I like it so much. Not all the stories appealed to me but I could appreciate the variety in these 16 short stories.
This is a great book. The author bought several postcards from antique stores (the ones that were written and sent out years and years ago) and sent them out to graphic authors. He challenged them to create short graphic stories based on the covers and messages of the postcards.

Teachery note: would make a great writing prompt for creative writing students.
Lora Innes
Like all anthologies I liked some stories better than others. But the concept is wonderful, and it made me want to hunt up old postcards and create stories around them! My favorite story was one about "tic-tac-toe" con men, but told in a hyper-realistic fashion as if such a thing ever existed. So creative and wonderfully executed.
Aug 31, 2008 Offbalance rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Adrian Tomine, Daniel Clowes, and Harvey Pekar
Recommended to Offbalance by: Daily Candy (how embarrassing!)
One rainy Saturday I chose to curl up with this book, and discovered a wonderful way to disappear for a few hours. In its pages I was delighted, amused, heartbroken, and even scared a few times.

This is a great book to introduce to people who've never read or understood how great a graphic novel could be. It certainly reminded me.
Definitely a cool concept. Take some old postcards and use each message as the basis for a story. Each postcard is photographed at the start of each graphic novel short story. Most are pretty poignant and some are very sad. I really liked the second one about time and the one featuring the superhero The Midnight Caller.
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Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor, whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and 8 Harvey Awards. Jason is currently editing a three-book series of graphic novel anthologies about colonial New England and the Mid-Atlantic region for Fulcrum Publishing scheduled to start being released in 2014. His first sci-fi book, TRY LOOKING AHEAD, will be released Spring 2015 from Rosarium Publi ...more
More about Jason Rodriguez...
Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 - 1750 Pinocchio, or The Stars Are Not Wanted Now The Little Particle That Could The Girl Who Could Live In Yesterday Modern HTML Email

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