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New Construction: Two More Stories

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  16 reviews
L.A. Times Book Prizes Finalist (Graphic Novel/Comics) 2016

A collection of two new stories from cartoonist and Adventure Time contributor Sam Alden. In "Household," a brother and sister deal with divergent memories of their father and grow closer than ever. In "Backyard," vegans and anarchists share a house, small dramas and bizarre transformations (featuring a new, never
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Uncivilized Books (first published November 17th 2015)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Dylan Horrocks
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I can study Sam Alden's comics for hours: the looseness of his pencils, the play of shadow and light, the jumpy disrupted narrative sequencing - there's a lot that's new going on here and I can feel my mind stretching every time I read him.

Also, these are two of the darkest, most disturbing comics stories I've read in a while.
Nate D
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016, comics
Odd haunting stories of two people adrift in beautifully raw pencil sketchlines.
Matt Graupman
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
As an art form, comics are relatively young, especially when compared to fields such as writing or painting. Comic artists are still trying to figure out the limitations of the medium, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with tone, plot, style, and other elements. So, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise when a creator does something original but, goddamn, Sam Alden is just on a whole different level right now.

"New Construction," Alden's latest book, follows the same format as his pr
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very atmospheric. These stories jump from scene to scene with no warning or transition (sometimes multiple times on a single page), so it takes a bit of work on the reader's part to understand what's happening. Some of my favorite books are challenging (like "The Sound and The Fury"), so this was not a deficit but rather an asset for me. The characters and their interactions are extremely compelling. No exposition is used, so the reader must use fragmented dialogue to suss out the situations.

Lauren Bailey
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed It Never Happened Again: Two Stories, I was impressed by the depth of story he was able to convey so quickly and efficiently. Alden's strength lies in his economic drawings and storytelling.

This is an odd story that hit the edge of satire for me just in the way he illustrated this communal living situation. It's already bizarre, with Molly living outside as an animal while the others are argue about how to handle her. But it
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sam Alden is one of the most interesting comic artists I've discovered in the last year or so, writing introspective, realistic accounts of young people drifting through life, with some hints of the bizarre intruding into the everyday. Alden's intense pencilled line work is amazing at evoking his moody, languid stories and instilling in them a sense of detachment that reflects the emotions of the characters. The dialogue in particular is so naturalistic it feels like things people actually say. ...more
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
Sam Alden has blown my mind again. Holy moly.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pitch perfect. There are no extraneous panels or bits of dialogue. Masterfully execute with raw, rugged art.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Wicked Chicken Queen ( Retrofit/ Big Planet) and I have been slowly amassing and reading a collection of Uncivilized Books, so New Construction was a natural fit for me. Alden, a 2 time Ignatz Award winner, impressed me with his pencils. A combination of shading, line work, depth, intensity and detail to create skillfully developed art. The stories ( there are 2) explored the complexities of interpersonal relations between roommates ("Backyard"") and siblings("Household").
Lanei Kasir
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sam Alden is undoubtedly one of the greatest comics artists currently working
Drew Lerman
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This book is fucking amazing. Subtle, beautiful, surprisingly dark. These stories are almost like Faulkner: they reaffirmed for me that making the reader work a little (participate, collaborate, w/e) can often yield work that's more powerful than it would be were everything spelled out, however artfully.

A cartoonist friend of mine picked this up and was turned off by the sketchy pencil drawings. I bet if he reads it he'll end up liking it, though; so many cartoonists I love -- maybe most -- hav
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Still in the process of re-reading it, as this is for a bookclub next week and I've been taking notes. Really an interesting and enjoyable read. The experimental nature of the book itself could probably put off some people but honestly it's nothing too crazy; the second time I read it, I realized how normal the story lines actually are, how smooth the narrative goes, only occasionally breaking some traditional narrative rules. I love that I have this book and can go back to reread it at any time ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
3.5. Alden's rough pencil style with visible eraser marks, especially showing edits to speech balloons, is very charming. The stories are loose and slightly surreal. The second story, "Household," is rougher, more unpolished in style than the first, "Backyard." It still narrates its story compellingly, but I sometimes wish Alden would treat the art here as pencils, and would go back to finish the work by inking it.
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
White boy problems :') xx all my miseries~~
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite art, but the stories were amazing (if also disturbing).
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
saaaaaaaaaaam!!!!!!!!! j_j
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