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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A journey through the inbetween places of the British landscape to the bleak coast, Kingdom follows a family on their holiday to a small caravan park, where teenager Andrew explores the dunes, and half-remembered stories from the past are shared.

Once again, Jon McNaught creates a beautiful graphic novel that makes the ordinary, extraordinary.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Nobrow (first published October 1st 2018)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  327 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-comics, travel
After just having read Kevin Huizenga's close look at insomnia in the mundane life of an unemployed man in Glenn Ganges in The River at Night, it only seems right to follow that read with the quiet, lovely tale of a holiday a mum and her two young children' take, visiting an older aunt's house at the sea. The kids are throughly bored visiting the old woman, forced to look at old photographs of when Mom was young, getting respite only from video games and sci fi movies on the telly.

The natural s
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The boredom of a holiday at the english seaside is beautifully translated in the sequence of the drawings.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The slogans on lorries that offer a slight distraction as you are driven along the motorway by a parent. The false promises of a shopping centre. The certainty that you'll love somewhere because the same parent once loved being there. The knowing that it won't be so. The weather. The boy who's tougher than you (or wants you to believe he is). The unnoticed birds calling and dining on fast food. The visit to a great-aunt. The ornaments in her home. The caravan park where others are, perhaps, havi ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is something about the caravan holiday experience. You set off full of promise, with involuntary pipe-dreams of making new friends, romantic connections and wild adventures. Ultimately though there seems to be little disappointment in the real experience that finds you heading home after a subtle and introspective time. In his new Graphic novel Kingdom, Jon McNaught gives any people-watcher or pensive soul the opportunity of their dreams to zoom in on an ordinary family on the motorway dur ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can imagine (perhaps unfairly) that there are some readers who will finish this exquisite book and think, "But nothing happened," and I guess that's technically true.

But on the other hand, everything happens. As I read this, I found I often had a catch in my throat; even though my own family vacations took place in a wholly different time and country, Kingdom seems, somehow, universally evocative of a certain kind of nostalgia, helped by its allowance for silence -- the "nothing happened" asp
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is a lot more depth here than it looks at first glance. It is minimalist in many ways. Not much is said.

But goddamn if this isn’t my wife and my two kids in this story. They all sort of seem to be living in a vacuum near each other (me too). We’re connected in a lot of ways, but some days it feels like we’re just atoms in a room knocking into one another from time to time, especially as the kids get older.

But the cool thing is, everyone is making meaning and finding meaning in their own wa
Gijs Grob
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
In 'Kingdom' a mother goes on vacation with her two children to a seaside resort. The whole book seems like a depiction of boredom. Nothing really interesting happens, and especially painful are the panels in which the boy is more interested in his own cellphone than in his surroundings. Because there is no story arc whatsoever, the story is not the highlight of this graphic novel.

No, the main reason to pick up this book is the extraordinarily beautiful artwork. McNaught has a very graphic style
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok

This style of artwork did very little for me and yet his talent is clearly apparent. There were plenty of moments where this looked like it could have developed into something creepy and special, but instead what we got is a lot of squawking, cawing birds, computer games, phone reception related dramas and a series of fragmented beach encounters.

I think the danger of trying to cram so many small panels onto the page is that it can become crowded, distracting and annoying. More is less and I don’
Nick Carraway LLC
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Should've tapped the top.'
'Stops it fizzing over.'
'Oh yeah... I forgot.'
'Reckon Carlsberg is my third favourite beer.'
'It goes... uh...
...Budweiser first...
...then Fosters...
...then Carlsberg.'
'Yeah, same probably.'
'You ever had Guinness?'
'Yeah, obviously!'
'Guinness is my fourth favourite.'"
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A mother, son, and daughter go to the British coast for a weekend vacation.

The artwork in this is blunt and beautiful. Little happens in the story - the kids are bored, the mom enjoys just being able to sit for a quiet second in the sun - yet it evokes a lot of feelings of nostalgia and memory. Several of the pages consist of lots of little square panels with no text that focus on details that really make the experience. The two page spread of rain in a parking lot is made tremendously affecting
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This felt like a commentary on the tawdriness of modern life. Or an exploration of the idea that you can't recapture the magic of your childhood. ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because I liked the art. It looks very printmaker-like with bold blocky colors that are clearly separated by negative space. Each page or pair of pages usually has the same color scheme, which gives even more of a printerly feel. The colors are a bit muted and on the cool side, which is very my aesthetic.

In terms of the structure of the comic, there's overall very little dialogue and it's very believable: it's a family on a vacation that only the parent wants to go on and one o
Kathryn Pearson
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Actually really enjoyed drawing from this one too
Clare McCarthy
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a magical book about an experience that is anything but magical: a family vacation. I might be biased in that regard. My family spent a week each summer at either Hampton Beach, NH or camping outside Misquamicut beach in RI. I have almost no fond memories of these trips.

I am quite fond of Jon McNaught's artwork here. His choice of panel layouts is cinematic, juxtaposing the three main characters with snapshots (get it?) of random details in their surroundings. And by using variations of
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quality Rating: Four Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Four Stars

A lovely little collection of meditations on growing up in the modern day and age. McNaught's illustration style is so careful and thoughtful, interested in tiny details and moments, sounds and feelings and images. I'd love to see him make a film. This book is both melancholic and content. It mourns what the present has done to the way we socialise, but it also sympathises with the breakdown of communication between generations. It doesn't te
Helen Leigh-Phippard
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The artwork in this book is absolutely stunning. I love the way McNaught focuses on the minutiae of everyday life, the things that others might not notice or might think uninteresting- because here they become beautiful and fascinating. His way he puts his stories together with minimal dialogue and far more art frames than most comic book/ graphic novelists gives his story a slowly unfolding, meditative kind of feel that has a rhythm unique to McNaught's work. Wonderful stuff. ...more
This graphic novel is tactually and visually stunning. The cover has a raw, cardboard feel with a matte design overlayed with a glossy titled, text box. It was the look and feel of the cover that drew me in. It was the muted colored, grid, tiled artwork with very little text that hooked me. The story itself is very plain and not very eventful but the mundaneness of it is what I related to. Kingdom is just the story of a single mom and her two kids taking a road trip to a seaside resort (of sorts ...more
Harry Brake
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the color, detail, and ability to push you into a place each of us can identify with. With the correct graphic novel, this is possible. There is no doubt the talent of Jon McNaught is present, and you certainly sense a rhythm of the environment, that often coincides with individuals.

The overall expectation was missing, and for me was a realization on behalf of one of the characters identified, however, maybe there does not have to be a lightbulb moment in very story. Maybe that is one of
Christine Smith
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
What a wonderful journey to the seaside. When I first picked it up, I was intregued because it had very little text and I wanted to know what they story was about. That is the brilliance of McNaught's work. With few words, Jon McNaught was able to tell the story of a mother and her two children as they travel from the city to the seaside for a vacation. Visiting a place that the mother went as a child was a bit of a nostalgic trip for her, but her children had a hard to finding that same connect ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully drawn evocation of British childhood holidays. The mundanity of many elements experienced mixed with the fascination of small events and experiences that may in other circumstances not take on the same significance as they do when spending time in a different place and at a different pace. Richly nuanced on many different levels, addressing a wide gamut of “UK staycation” holiday experiences including motorway service stations, revisiting old haunts and viewing them with different, ...more
I've never read so little in regards to plot, yet felt so many emotions. This is one of those rare books that I finished in a day and I kept thinking about it hours afterwards. Kingdom is a beautiful, quiet wake-up call. The reader is exclusively the observer of the goings on of this family on vacation. I'm not sure where to begin exactly. There are more detailed reviews that go over what happens to each character, so I'll just say that I'm curious about the title, Kingdom. Who is the monarch in ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I like McNaught's illustrations--as well as his depiction of a self-absorbed, oblivious teenagers--the book design doesn't do justice to his work: either the format should be larger (too many 1" x 1" panels) or the book should be longer, with the format redesigned. Devoting 3/4 of many pages to 25 1" x 1" images makes the book feel crowded and busy, which counters the feeling it's trying to establish of a family on a weekend holiday to the shore side. ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's something about the boredom of family vacations that McNaught captures beautifully here. Although set in the U.K., this is like every Myrtle Beach vacation I had as a kid. Complete with backseat fights with my sister, visits with elderly relatives I barely knew, and the junk food you're only allowed while road tripping. Also the strange friendships you strike up at the beach. Love the humor, the sound effects and the dream like illustrations. ...more
Andy Hickman
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
“KINGDOM” by Jon McNaught
Well-paced mini-panelled geometrically-shaped illustrations and conversation about a single mum, her son and daughter and the presence of a mundane simple and sad holiday at mum’s sea-side hometown.
The angst of transitional childhood permeates the pages.
Very unique.

They are watching Doctor Who:

“Yeah, I made it! I’m inside the Cortex”
“He’s remembering”
“Memories! All those memories.”
Jessica Haider
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick graphic novel about a mom and her two kids taking a trip to a caravan park on the British coast. The monotony of the everyday, long car rides, and the boredom of a bleak seaside are perfectly rendered in this book. Not much happens, but really, how much really happens on run-of-the-mill family getaways.
Mrs. Schatz
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lhs2019
Didn't understand the purpose of the book or why the company thought this was good for the selection of the month. After reading the book details on several websites, I understand why they liked it. I wasn't crazy into but could see what the author was going for. Very little wording which is nice. The reader must read the pictures for the story. ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting book taking the reader through a vacation to the beach. A great deal of small frames comprise this graphic novel. Few words so attention is required to the detail of the frames. All aspects of a family vacay are covered.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations and clever portrayal of holiday time minutiae, but the narrative isn’t clever or resolved. I just wanted ‘more’.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
very nice illustrations and a cute story that didn't need much dialogue ...more
MilesTeller Shirtless
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-comix
memories so vivid you can touch them
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Jon McNaught was born in 1985. He lives in London where he draws comics, and works as an illustrator, printmaker and lecturer.

His Clients include; Penguin Books, Faber, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Walker Books, Picador, and the BBC.

He is also a regular cover artist for the London Review of Books.

He is the Author of Kingdom, Birchfield Close, Pebble Island and Doc

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