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Bluesman

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Now collected into one stunning hardcover! This story, structured like a traditional twelve bar blues song, with three sections each made of four chapters, follows blues musician Lem Taylort commit.
Paperback, 206 pages
Published 2009 by Akileos (first published 2004)
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David Schaafsma
Woodcut style artwork which somehow fits the rough caricature of the south that gets repeated here: Blues musicians traveled the south, and faced racism wherever they went. Still, it's a story we really do need to remember, so in case you didn't know this 1920's Southern American Gothic history, here's a story structured like a traditional twelve bar blues song, with three sections each made of four chapters. That's a pretty cool idea. There's some actual quotations from journalism and blues his ...more
Zorana
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First graphic novel for me!!
And It was a real good one.

My teacher gave It to me because we studied all about blues plus one of my English finals that I'll present will be on Blues so I was excited to read It.

And let me tell you guys..what a heartwrenching story and beautiful at the same time.
The drawings are gorgeous the contrast between the black and white is really good and powerful.

I won't say anything else but that It's about two african americans and they're searching for a place to stay
...more
Anna
There's a lot going for Bluesman, including woodcut-style art that often bends out of the box. The thick, exagerrated lines and heavy shadows hit just the right note for a story about roots musicians. And there's a fearlessness in how the book faces the Gothic mythos and religiosity that informs so much of the blues. I was interested, too, in how the story sync-ed up its fable with mid-century journalism about traveling bluesmen that's quoted in the text when the chatter of the characters quiet ...more
Lola  Reviewer
Lem Taylor is a bluesman. He and his friend live for music. Like other bluesmen, they don’t have a home. Instead, they go from town to town, city to city, finding work wherever they can.

Unfortunately, the moment life is good to them, and they are about to record songs—possibly release an album in the future—Lem’s friend dies trying to save a woman from being killed by her “master”.

Four dead bodies in total and Lem Taylor as the main suspect. Murders he did in no way commit. He lost his friend, h
...more
Lateef Amodu
This is a story of two nomadic bluesmen, during the 1920s, traversing through Arkansas for a place to stay, while trying to earn a living as blues players. They managed to catch a break when they arrive at a bar. They play a gig and the bartender introduces them to record scout, who wants to cut deal with them for a record. They just had to make it to a studio in Memphis on time. Things were looking up until one of the bluesmen decided to hook-up with two local girls before leaving. This rendezv ...more
Aimee
May 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sequential-art
I guess I expected this to be more of a biographical narrative loosely based on accounts of itinerant blues musicians. Instead, the story focuses on an extremely violent event and its violent aftermath. While reading, I felt that it exoticized and caricatured the American South, perhaps because the characters are underdeveloped, as is the ending. For instance, there's a gesture toward the flying Africans myth that Toni Morrison uses so effectively in Song of Solomon, but I doubt anyone who didn' ...more
Joni
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original novela gráfica situada en los años '20 al sur de Usa. La historia narra la precaria situación del movimiento blusero de la época con dos músicos que se ganan la vida en la ruta tocando en los pueblos a cambio de al menos un refugio y un plato de comida. Un crimen múltiple que los involucra dispara la trama a lugares no tan impensados. Es triste y épica a la vez. El dibujo oscuro en la onda de Thomas Ott si bien es bueno creo que le faltó un poco de trabajo en la caracterización de perso ...more
Jeff
This one was an odd mix of interesting art and story, but the limits of each kept me from thoroughly enjoying it--I would have enjoyed it more if we had either gotten more back story on Lem (his childhood flashbacks were quite engaging, but not utilized enough to move the character development or story along), or shifted it to more of an ensemble book (which might have made sense, given the format of mimicking a blues song in comic form). As it stood, we got just enough about Lem to care a bit, ...more
Lindy
A graphic novel about a pair of travelling blues musicians in Arkansas in the 1920s. The evocative, dark artwork suits the themes of poverty, hardship, jealousy, murder and lynch mobs. As sorrow-filled and mesmerizing as the Delta blues, this is a tale for adults rather than teens.

For similar stories, see Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Shep Hendrix (events that led to the popular blues song); Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse (race relations in the southern states in 1960s); Contract with Go
...more
Daniel Patiño
I really liked the story and how it develops... It catch you right away and the characters are likeable too. Drawings are beautiful in some aspects like landscapes and "effects" (I don't know how to call them) but are a little poor with characters. For example I can't even identify (unless I see their instruments) very good between the two main musicians of the story: Their faces are so alike!
But apart of that, it worthed every minute. This is my second graphic novel. First one was 300
Karen
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Striking visuals, and the backbone of an excellent story; despite several moments with real emotional punch, it depends too much on a reader's familiarity with tropes of the bad old Jim Crow days. Ends up too specific to be a universal fable, but without enough meat to stand on its own as a satisfying tale.
Simon Sweetman
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful wood-cut style artwork here, and a loose narrative around travelling bluesmen and murder and racism, a nicely controlled historical parable.
Sonic
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story that is both strikingly original and also seemingly characteristic of life for a blues man of those times. Wonderfully created!
Jonathan
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story, well worth seeking out.
Les
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
YTD=3 (barely)
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