Rick's Reviews > Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays

Syncopated by Brendan Burford
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's review
Jun 01, 09

bookshelves: comics, anthologies

In his introduction editor Brendan Burford explains, "[S:]yncopation literally means that an accent or stress is placed on the weak beat between the usually dominant beats. When music is syncopated, it can offer a whole new perspective on rhythm." Using this definition as a guide, Burford compiled a diverse collection of quality stories. Some of the tales such as the excellent "How and Why to Bale Hay" by Nick Bertozzi offer uniquely personal histories. Others illuminate fascinating aspects of historical figures ("Erik Erickson" by Paul Karasik and "Dvorak" by Alec Longstreth). Burford and artist Jim Campbell relate one of the book's finest tales with the dynamic "Boris Rose: Prisoner of Jazz." Alex Holden's "West Side Improvements" chronicles the amazing story of graffiti artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom). Perhaps this extraordinary anthology's only weakness is a few too many New York-centric tales. But this is a small complaint. With Syncopated, Buford and his contributors have crafted one of the best books of the year.

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