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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  70 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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Average rating 3.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  404 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Pat Grants 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 its basically Stephen Kings The Body with a smattering of District 9.

Thats not to say its a
Seth T.
Aug 02, 2012 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 Surfingand 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 Grants 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 agents pitch might have sounded something like this: Imagine STAND BY ME meets DISTRICT 9 set in a small Australian surf town. Im not sure how many film studios would have bit on that premise, but in Grants deft hands the concept works out brilliantly as a comic.

The narrator of BLUE is a
Jul 25, 2012 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 ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ah.. this was... weird.. and not in a good way.

It was short and not interesting.

Started nice enough but then it all went downhill from there.

It's a biography?! and mostly about newcomers and immigration in some way. About kids being hateful for no reason just because someone is different and/or a person is not from the same place. The story is non-existent and mediocre at best.

The artwork is really nice and what really got me to buy this. The colouring also. Really good. Just wish it had more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it

3.5 Stars!

The history of comics is one that consists of a thousand coming-of-age narratives tangled up together in an unruly lump. Im adding one more strand.

This really captures the spirit of small town/surf town Australia with all of its parochial shortcomings, including the racism, xenophobia and violence which can make up a depressingly big part of their identity. This story is like Stand By Me meets Damo and Darren.

There is some really strong art work in here and the main story is convincing
Mark Schlatter
Apr 23, 2012 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.
Mar 23, 2013 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.
Sean Williams
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really terrific graphic novel, but I loved it particularly for the essay at the end.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the start of this book, offering to deal with fear of the outsider in the first few pages. And then I liked the rest of this book too. I like the meandering journey of three friends and the expression of their fears through words and drawing. The fear of strangers seemed a different plot line and didn't really go anywhere, for me, but when I let go of that expectation, the story of teenage hood, interactions, the seemingly endless wandering and the possibility of self discovery kept me ...more
Sooraya Evans
Sep 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
That opening scene made me sad. Kids sure can be cruel sometime.
Overall, this was a forgettable look into immigration and racism in Australia.
Jan 03, 2013 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
Aug 02, 2016 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.
Jul 09, 2014 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 form from the perspective of Australia.
Mar 02, 2016 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.
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:
Oz Barton
Jul 20, 2013 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. ...more
Feb 17, 2013 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.
Jun 04, 2014 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.
Emilia P
Feb 18, 2012 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.
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Coming-of-age, immigration, racism, all deep topics presented through the perspective of a man in the easter coast of Australia remembering his childhood. Very relevant and emotionally touching.
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
strong 4 stars, just shy of 5 - The art is absolutely beautiful and the story is unnerving and challenging, good stuff.
Harry Chen
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Buchanan
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it

An entertaining look at coastal Australia through the eyes of a typical, deadshit, surf rat. The parallel between surf town localism and nationwide xenophobia was a nice starting point. The classic beach punk juxtaposition of Christian's Dead Kennedys cigarette lighter and a "We grew here you flew here" sticker highlights the disconnect between the free spirited, counter cultural past of surfing compared to what Robert Drewe called the "careless, violent hedonism" of modern beach culture.
Saransh Ahuja
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Blue, by Pat Grant is a graphic novel, tackling the racial aspects of Australia. Drawn and written by the debutant Pat Grant, he conveys this high intensity story in the perspective of an adolescent. This is a highly accurate depiction of the modern youth of Australia as he delves into the concepts of "wagging" school on a regular basis. In my opinion, this is perfectly accompanied by the nitty gritty ideas of contemporary teenage youth in Australia during that era. This is shown through the ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-popsugar
This graphic novel is a strange mix. In small town Australia three teens skip school to visit a site where a person was killed on the train tracks. At the same time it looks at the decline of the town and the arrival of aliens. The teens dont come across as sympathetic characters. At the end of the book the author muses of graphic novels and comics in Australia. At best it was an interesting take on localism and racism in the Australian context - interesting to me since my son and his wife (a ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrific graphic novel!
The cover drew me to it, the repetitive wave image reminded me of Escher's hypnotic repetition, but also the Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" whose exhibition I missed this year. There are also elements of Dr Seuss plant-life in Grant's depiction of the Australian bush.
There was also a ripper quote on back of book by Shaun Tan, and who wouldn't take a recommendation by him?
This book was terrific! The cruelty of children to newcomers, the attitudes of people (city or
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to meet Pat Grant at Sydney OzComicCon '18 and grab a copy of the first two issues of Grot (they are seriously awesome - can't wait for the next issue to come out). I went looking for more of his work after reading them and came across Blue. Bloody hell, the art, the story, the pure Australian vibes you get from it (from the slang- not the racism - although a bit from the racism too)... it's fantastic. Well worth the read - you can find it all online. I ended up buying a ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Quite honestly, I found the essay in the back more interesting. The comic is ok, but I was intrigued by the history, both the comic art history and the authors personal history; being someone roughly my age who grew up in a place where I have holidayed numerous times. ...more
Aug 08, 2015 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 Boltons 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
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