Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso

Artichoke Tales by Megan KelsoArtichoke Tales by Megan Kelso
Published: Fantagraphics Books (2010), Hardcover, 232pg
Genres: Fiction
Source: Library


Artichoke Tales is a 176-page coming-of-age story about a young girl named Brigitte whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war, a graphic novel that takes place in a world that echoes our own, but whose people have artichoke leaves instead of hair. Influenced in equal parts by Little House on the Prairie, The Thorn Birds, Dharma Bums, and Cold Mountain, Kelso weaves a moving story about family amidst war. Kelso’s visual storytelling, uniquely combining delicate linework with rhythmic, musical page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate, ruminative character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war and carnage, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic. This is Kelso’s first new work in four years; the widespread critical reception of her previous work makes Artichoke Tales one of the most eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2010. (from Goodreads)

Buy on Amazon | Goodreads


This is one of those discordant stories where the art is super duper cute but the story is almost the opposite. Everyone’s got heads shaped like artichokes: cute! A group of women murder a baby View Spoiler »: holy crap. SO not cute.

Artichoke Tales is a collection of stories about the two countries which once were one, mostly highlighting the differences between the people in the north and the people in the south. It’s also about love! Love between well, lovers, love between children and their parents, love for a home and/or country, love for history and language and poetry.

I loved the story, but didn’t much care for the art for some reason. Maybe because I had a super hard time telling people apart, even with the handy field guide in the front. Still, I’d definitely read another Megan Kelso book. I love what the world she created in Artichoke Tales, and the people she brought to life. The artichoke-shaped heads may have been a bit confusing, but it was definitely a book worth reading.

Read: September 02, 2013

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