Matthew's Reviews > Booth

Booth by C.C. Colbert
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's review
May 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels, bios
Read from May 22 to June 12, 2010

I'm a little surprised at all the negative and ho-hum reviews people have given this title. Admittedly I'm a bit of a Booth fan. Ok, fan may not be the right word. I'm fascinated by the man, and have been ever since I had a job at the box office at Ford's Theatre so I tend to pick up everything I run across on him. That this is a graphic novel only made it more appealing to me.

The book basically charts the main lines of Booth's life from early childhood up to the assasination, highlighting his relationships with women, his flailing acting career, the competition he had with his brother and how all of these pieces coalesced and nudged him into the post-war confederate conspiracies that eventually led to Lincoln's murder. Colbert brings the credibility of a real historian, and I can say from the other books on Booth I have read this is a fairly accurate portrayal (at least for what we know of Booth). I really like the stressing on how much of a pawn---albeit a passionate, willing pawn----Booth was in the event. Inclusion of dialogue and creation of dramatic scenes made this, at least for me, a much faster read than the graphic biographies written by Rick Geary, which I often find interesting but slow.

I also really enjoyed Tanitoc's artwork----although I've read some of his essays, this is the first visual work I've seen from him. Maybe it's just because he's French and I want to see it, but I see a lot of Daumier in his linework: the slightly exaggerated but still very real faces, the slightly skewed sense of space.... His dingy palette and wonderfully researched costumes and architecture really lend itself to the time period.

Is this the greatest bit of cartooning of all time? No. But it is an enjoyable read for history buffs, especially if their background knowledge of the Lincoln assasination is somewhat limited.
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