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The New World: Comics from Mauretania

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Since the mid-1980s, the British cartoonist Chris Reynolds has been assembling a world all his own. On the surface, it seems much like ours: a place of cool afternoon shadows and gently rolling hills, half-empty trains and sleepy downtown streets. But the closer you look, the weirder it gets. After losing a mysterious intergalactic war, Earth is no longer in humanity’s con ...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published April 26th 2018 by New York Review of Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Derek Royal
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal! One the one hand, I'm ashamed that I didn't know about Reynolds's Mauretania comics before this year. At the same time, this has been a wonderful discovery, something that may be even more impactful given my previous ignorance. What initially drew me to this title -- outside of the fact that it's published by New York Review Comics, who always puts out great material -- is the fact that Seth did the design of this collection. The book definitely has the Seth "stamp," and his note at ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

This was nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. Released in bits and pieces since the mid-1980s, Chris Reynolds has been teasing readers with fragments of a world that seemed to continuously attempt to come full circle yet also remain fragmented and indecipherable. The cartoonist delivers a truly surreal story that often puts a strange individual with a helmet at the heart of it and successfully draws up a world that seems real at first gl
Peter Landau
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some of the things I like best I hated at first. They were too new or radically different from what I expected, I guess, until realizing I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t hate THE NEW WORLD: COMICS FROM MAURETANIA by Chris Reynolds when I opened up the handsome tome collecting his work from the 1980s and on, but I didn’t love it. The work was dense in every way: the panels were thick black bands, the artwork dark patterns of brushwork and the stories were weirdly normal. But that rigid facad ...more
Stewart Tame
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mysterious and enigmatic. There's a quiet surrealism to these stories. It's not loud and obvious, but subtle and quiet. Things almost make sense. One is left with the sense that, if only there were a couple more clues, everything would fall into place. It feels like a bizarre combination of the comics work of Seth and the short stories of J.G. Ballard, maybe a touch of Blue Velvet era David Lynch as well.

Although the stories feel meandering and plotless, I enjoyed the head space this put me into
Dylan Horrocks
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
If I could give this 10 stars, I totally would.
Nate D
Jun 13, 2018 marked it as read-in-2018
Shelves: comics
Late in this work, there's a stretch of several wordless pages where two characters follow a telephone cord through an empty landscape. Like most plot points here, this one cuts off unexpectedly into nothing, but it was this spare narration-free passage where I was most able to feel the mysterious, haunted sensation that others seem to get from these comics. Otherwise, these stories, like the blocky, murky linework, just felt a little too vague and half-formed, the images often overwhelmed by na ...more
Stephen Curran
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The people of Mauritania seem to forever be returning to places where they once lived, only to find them empty, their friends missing, their old homes in ruins. The world – drawn using more black than white – is much like our own, but there has been an invasion, and cars are technically capable of flight. But strangely, these comics aren't about the future. They are about a futile longing for the past.

Or at least I think they are. In their intricacy and their unashamed obliqueness, they resemble
090519: yup. my kind of graphic...
(A version of this review was published, in German, in the Swiss comics journal STRAPAZIN.)

On travels to the United Kingdom in the 1980’s I discovered the vibrant world of British small-press comics, and one title that greatly intrigued me was MAURETANIA COMICS, written and drawn by Chris Reynolds. The comics were starkly beautiful, black-and-white and drawn with what looked like a rollerball pen. The pages contained almost-deserted landscapes (both urban and rural), sterile office building inte
Mateen Mahboubi
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wild ride of sparse mysterious stories in a dark and chunky art style. I enjoyed some of the more straightforward storytelling better but even the more obscure stuff was enjoyable. Enjoy the journey despite knowing that you may never get to the destination.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Got this from the library after being interested in the idea of exploring worlds through surreal narratives. In a moment of synchronicity, this was one of the first 'quick selection' books on view as I walked in through the library door.

The book itself is large, hard, shiny and seductive. The stories inside have a gorgeous, dreamy sense of being. Hints and implications are everything, mysteries are being explored, but the stories feel like they carry on in the gaps between and after the panels t
Shawn Conner
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
What I appreciate most about Chris Reynolds' Mauretania stories is their sense of timelessness. As Seth notes in "Designer notes" at book's end, Reynolds' work has aged well, better than that of many of his fellow comics creators who also came of age in the '90s (the stories in this volume are from 1985 and later). Reynolds isn't caught up in trying to capture any kind of zeitgeist. Or, if he is, he does so accidentally and indirectly.

This is heavy Twilight Zone-ish stuff that takes place in a
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2018
Tip: The foreword by Ed Park has spoilers. Read the stories first.
Jonathan Hawpe
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful new collection of Welsh comics artist Chris Reynolds' very difficult to find work is a revelation: lovely, strange, subtle and poetic stories with light touches of surrealism and scifi. Think Jim Jarmusch films, Chris Ware's mundane-meets-fantastic style (Reynolds might be an influence?), Twin Peaks, Samuel Beckett... but this stuff is truly unique, like a dream made of white paper and black ink. ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
...I don't get it. ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read something and marvel at how the author expressed a thought you’ve never been able to put into words. Reading this collection, I felt like Chris Reynolds was pulling out and examining pieces of my psyche of which I’ve never been more than fleetingly conscious. It was a moving, thrilling, sometimes frightening experience.

This registers not as a celebration of nostalgia but as an exploration of the strangeness of memory, reconciling it both with the experience of the real world a
cardulelia carduelis
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was another one of those 'I know nothing about this but it's on offer' purchases. As such, I was unprepared for the nostalgia I'd feel for the landscapes (they're Welsh, but they could easily be from the North East of England), not to mention the poignant, dark atmosphere of the comics themselves. There's something very, British about the entire collection - but again, that's likely due to the countryside rather than the content as having looked back through there's not too much to suggest ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To me these stories read as if film director Michealangelo Antonioni had story boarded a British kid's tv show from the 1970's. I'm not saying these were infantile, some of the Brit kids show were pretty sophisticated. Nothing makes any sense but one finds oneself okay w/that, not frustrated at the outcome. I was frustrated though at their not being anymore. At 300 or so pages the book almost seems a little light. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great example of "less is more". Quietly disturbing stuff, with a peculiar sense of now, though created decades ago. It presents a world that exists in suspension, without recognizable patterns of causality and purpose, and consumed by an unnamed catastrophy which everybody seems to ignore, as if in a trance. The simultaneous lulling and menacing qualities makes this the narrative equivalent of Boards of Canada's music. Beautiful as an object, too. ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most wondrous, melancholy, and haunting works I've come across—somehow Reynolds has captured an air of nostalgia on an almost societal level, and the bewildering feeling of people, communities, and whole nations changing over time, leaving behind whole customs and rituals and the detritus of ordinary life. It's hard to describe the effect these stories have, but they're absolutely sui generis—I read this a year ago and I can't stop thinking about it. ...more

Quietly weird narratives and/or meandering threads ending in droll scenarios. It's darkly charming in a way that's hard to pin down, thanks to the confluence of familiar yet alienish settings, mysterious and largely unexplained characters, atmospheric art bound by thick black strokes, and correspondingly eerie lettering.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strange, unsettling, mysterious, quiet, steeped in loneliness, this should be a depressing collection but Reynolds has a self professed mission to spread hope. It’s in there, a little. But the comics still loosen the gravity holding down every day life - like reading Sebald or Murakami, the world is never the same once you put this book down. Recommended.
Matthew R
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once again perfect score for personal reasons.

This book has so much in it that appeals to the core of my being it really almost cheats its way to a perfect score. Surrealism, sci-fi, philosophy, tension all blend together to make a tome of comics that scratches a particular itch for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Moon Captain
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sparse and cozy
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
creepy, distinctive graphics.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The New York Review of Comics edition is beautiful and these are some enigmatic and fascinating tales. The art is dark and wonderful and the stories are bizarre yet familiar.
David Rickert
Jun 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Poorly drawn comics with no storytelling sense.
Damian Knight
Jun 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
got bored of this graphic novel
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Chris wrote and drew the graphic novel "The New World" published by New York Review Comics.
His most recent book is "Cinema Detectives: Codeword: Crime!"

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