Read Best 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant ManAuthor Matt Kindt – Pandora-jewelry.co
Look to Seth Hahne s review for an excellent and thorough treatment of this terrific novel, one of my fave s of the year, right on the heels of one of my other favorites, Kindt s Red Handed This has a similar feel, the purposely sketchy art, the postmodern reflection on the strengths and limitations of narrative, the story told from multiple perspectives, the lovely, muted watercolor washes, but this one feels intimate to me than Red Handed It s the story of a giant who never stops growing, who falls in love, has a kid and who was a kind of messenger for the CIA, and internationally famous It s not like a 7 foot giant, thug, it s someone who fall sin lobe when he is 7 feet tall, but grows to 3 stories so this becomes magical realism or fantasy Now, this is fiction, but it is informed by research, including mentions of the tallest man in the history of Illinois, and the Thorne miniatures collection at the Chicago Art Institute Each of the three stories are told by a woman in his life his mother, his wife, and daughter, and the wife s story turns out to be the most moving, even as ridiculous as it may seem in many respects I suppose it s like the intimacy of King Kong and Fay Wray, it simply doesn t make sense, it s silly that any emotion can come of it, but when you see it, you feel it, you understand And maybe there s something about what we imagine to be the loneliness and isolation of the Freak of Nature, the ridicule, the awe, all distancing relationships Now THIS is my favorite Kindt book, because of this crazy intimacy with his wife, who is an architect who does miniatures in part to help understand her husband s perspective As with much of Kindt s work, perspective is central, heightened Andre the Giant s story, and one I read recently in graphic bio format, is relevant here Awesome, a giant Well, yeah, from our perspective from the giant s perspective, mostly sad, as it turns out. Kindt just keeps getting better He shows a deep understanding of character The writing is accomplished The concept is simple but nicely explored But in a comic I also want to see something that could not work in any other medium and this too delivers the artwork explores the themes of scale and depth, taking the nice idea that The Giant Man s wife makes miniatures to compose pages of rooms within rooms exemplified by the superb cover Kindt is not for everyone and his art has a sketchiness that takes time to get used to, but I find him consistently satisfying. As an author, there are a couple of ways to approach a sci fi concept One can take the idea and simply run with it, expecting readers to give in to the demands of suspendable disbelief Alternatively, an author can exert a lot of effort to couch his concept in plausibilities, striving to explain things in scientific terms or at least in terms that could be scientific Each method has its fans, but generally in the last few decades anecdotal evidence leads me to think that all but the lowest common denominators in our culture appreciate authors who will put at least some effort into the conveyance of Believability Most contemporary authors, I believe, will find themselves somewhere in the middle, wanting to focus on their stories but still feeling the responsibility to at least offer tacit explanations for the strange and amazing things that happen in their stories.To that end, we have the writers of LOST toying with concepts of electro magnetism and quantum theory We find Brian K Vaughan using socio scientific theory to explain the plague he unleashes inY The Last ManWe get movies like Moon and Jurassic Park We also have George Lucas turning the mystery of the Force into an empirically quantifiable convocation of microscopic organisms So it doesn t always result in wooing the audience Matt Kindt, with 3 Story, finds himself in this set of authors and he succeeds better than many of them.When you write a story about the tallest man in the world, a man who eventually will grow to be the size of skyscrapers, you may be tempted to leave it at that Maybe settle on solely focusing on the troubles that go with physically not fitting in Maybe let him be a hero worthy of his physical stature I actually don t know what could be done in a story with a giant man I may actually have satisfied the whole of my interest in giant man stories because Kindt s is so deliciously composed More on composition later What Kindt does, beyond providing a throwaway explanation for Craig Pressgang s abnormal lifelong growth spurt, is propose a couple possibly reasonable side effects to a human attaining such a size I don t know how plausible Kindt s extrapolations of Pressgang s condition are, but they seem fairly reliable and may have been developed from verified difficulties experienced by Robert Wadlow, the Giant of Illinois the tallest recorded man in the world In the end Kindt s fidelity to medical accuracy, while a particular charm of 3 Story, is probably unnecessary to the effect of the work upon the reader The book works well with these details but I imagine it would work well without them At heart, the story of Craig s life as told by the three primary women in his life is about alienation and community And while details like Craig s inability to register physical contact in meaningful ways heighten our sense of his distance from those around him, the tableaux on which Kindt paints is bleak enough that such particulars while decorative are not foundational to the work 3 Story, though telling a single story, is appropriately divided into three discreet narratives With growing awareness of the presence of a culture of sexism, a story narrated by three woman who tell the story of a man might put many readers on alert After all, there continues to be a tendency in male penned literary media to use females to magnify male protagonists And while it s true that in many ways these three women s lives are circumscribed by Craig Pressgang s presence in their lives, the story might be seen as being at least as much about each of them as it is about Craig Their lives are not defined so much by Craig s maleness as they are by their relationships to him and what his condition means to all four of them 3 Story is the story of family and the alienation and closeness that can result when circumstances cause one member to be highlighted for good or ill Craig, for much of the story, is an impenetrable person, walled off by his condition It s in his mother s, wife s, and daughter s words and experiences that we learn who these people are and who tragedy will shape them to be Kindt s treatment of his characters is often spare on words, but it s in gestures and timing that his tapestry of their heartbreaks unfurls.Kindt resumes the kind of inventive page design and formal experimentation that was such a winning choice inSuper SpyI don t know how great an illustrator Kindt is his style as revealed in the three books of his I ve read is rather simple and keeps any sense of photorealism at arm s length It doesn t really matter He could be a terrible cartoonist who really just adores the opportunities of the medium He could be Alex Toth It doesn t matter His drawing is good enough for the stories he drives because his design sense is impeccable Similar to Adam Hines, whose visual work on Duncan the Wonder Dog was one of the stand out comics achievements of 2010 Hines is up front about not being a talented illustrator , Kindt uses a number of texturing tricks to add body and weight to his work In addition, adding to 3 Story s visual aesthetic with what I presume is some handy photoshopping, Kindt relies on interview style narrative interruptions as well as the kind of x ray style perspective that made Super Spy a treat These little flourishes add an immeasurable something to the work and help elevate it from being merely another exploration of the human condition Even in the depths of the human murk, Kindt displays an evident playfulness and that sense of play makes winning a vaguely morose story.In writing about Kindt s Super Spy, I concluded The book s strength instead lies in the very human way in which it approaches a world that is far beyond the coping mechanisms of its contributors These people, no matter how thinly sketched, are always people are always worth the time of your consideration They are just as sad, broken, and hopeful as real people are and when their stories end, those conclusions are just as stupid, pointless, and tragic as they would be in real life.This may be safely said of 3 Story as well For while this book ends on a slightly buoyant note, Kindt s story about a very tall man and the women whose lives his stature dominates is just as much about real people no matter how fictional they may be Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad A better title would be The Curious Case for Depression Although written in the vein of F Scott Fitzgerald s short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, its potentiality and whimsy is negated by downright morbidity, characters little than archetypes in a morality play, like Loneliness and Regret Clearly Kindt never read the far funnier, balanced, and interesting Gulliver s Travels. What Would It Be Like To Stand Head And Shoulders Above Everyone Else And To Keep Growing Unable To Interact With A Fragile World That Isn T Built To Withstand Your Size To Live In A House That Doesn T Fit You Any With A Wife Who Doesn T Either Craig Pressgang S Life Is Well Documented In His Official CIA Biography, Giant Man Pillar Of America, But The Heroic Picture It Paints Is Only Half The Story The Continuous Growth Caused By Craig S Strange Medical Condition Brings A Variety Of Problems As He Becomes Isolated And Unknowable Told In Three Eras By Three Women With Unique Relationships With Craig, Story Follows His Sad Life From His Birth To The Present Kindt S Super Spy Was Wizard S Indie Book Of The Year Matt Kindt S Heavy, Scribbly Linework, Executed With A Precise But Unfussy Care, Looks Like Nothing Else Out There NPR The premise of 3 Story is that of The Incredible Shrinking Man in reverse the protagonist is a giant who cannot stop growing, and whose superhuman size both alienates him from human contact and, paradoxically, renders him physically vulnerable But there are big differences between the two stories Whereas The Incredible Shrinking Man, though also dealing with loneliness and alienation, celebrates its tiny hero s ingenuity and will to survive, 3 Story centers on a bemused and passive protagonist whose seeming physical power belies his terrible helplessness The story has a inexorable, tragic quality, strengthened by Kindt s penchant for evoking, without entirely explaining, deep seated emotional pain grudges, losses, long buried and lingering hurt.Kindt s graphic handling of the story is distinctive and smart His organic, slightly distressed looking style, muted watercolor thankfully not digital palette, tellingly awkward figures, and expert dramatic framing of the action make 3 Story visually haunting.The story doesn t come off quite as well 3 Story is in part an experiment in focalization, with the three women in the giant s life his mother, wife, and daughter each telling her story in turn This in itself intrigues particularly poignant is the wife s story, as the giant s unstoppable growth sunders their love and family Yet each story is also punctuated and complicated by found texts, for example an insipid official biography of the giant, or newspaper articles also, occasional graphic footnotes give backstory that the narrators are not privy to At times these texts shift POV in midstream, muddying the tale s perspectives Ironies and confusion abound I m not sure Kindt has these entirely under control, though the total effect is provocative.More damaging is a distracting espionage subplot the giant becomes a spy This move makes nothing much happen, and flummoxes me From my POV it undercuts the book s humanizing gestures and leads to some narrative jury rigging that needlessly complicates Kindt s fable This is another way of saying that there are loose bits rattling around inside 3 Story that are not quite satisfactorily resolved Pity, since the book has much going for it a distinct aesthetic, a soulful, melancholy tone, and intelligent visual storytelling. What a strange little book A brief look into the life of a man who never stopped growing, as told by his mother, wife and daughter Maybe it s a metaphor for how people grow apart Maybe it s just a weird story about a giant man and how his condition eventually means he can t live in this world any Very unique I loved it The clearest recommendation I could make concerning 3 Story is that Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks Forrest Gump, Cast Away need to make this a movie It would be a perfect project for them Matt Kindt is one of the best creators in comics at the moment, and that s not up for debate He s the rare creator who actually manages to blend the superhero realm the stuff fans like and the graphic novel realm the stuff critics like He can do anything Most importantly, he s a born storyteller When Kindt is illustrating his own scripts, as he does with 3 Story and has with some of his longer projects, like Mind MGMT, he might find a harder time getting the superhero crowd to appreciate his work, although the graphic novel folks will still love him Superhero fans tend to almost favor the art over the writing although even they had to admit that the imbalance can t be entirely lopsided, as they discovered in the 90s Kindt s art is fairly loose, but it s also strangely expressive He draws the world the way he writes it, as a mystifying realm.The story of 3 Story is actually three stories, three narratives from people who knew the so called Giant Man, Craig Pressgang his mom, his wife, and his daughter Each has a unique perspective on what exactly Craig was and how it was living in his heh shadow Not surprisingly, the daughter who never really knew him is most enad with Craig The results try to take Craig s unusual condition he never stops growing as straight as possible The details a lot of other writers would ve focused on are merely suggested by Kindt, and that s part of his appeal, as always He tends to trust his readers, which often means some readers just won t get it But it s not for everyone, even though he creates comics that do speak to everyone, in that uncomfortable way, and again, maybe that s why he isn t as widely known as he ought to be If you read only one of his superhero comics, make it his Divinity cycle This sort of thing is right up my alley. This is a depressing story that shouldn t be read before bed It keeps building up to a tragic end and it s obvious at every point that it can t be a happy one The difficulties of growing so big have basis in science, something I personally enjoyed The main character s size makes his body very fragile and all human interaction strained or even impossible, making him feel alone even when surrounded by people.Craig is a boy who has grown way beyond normal human height This starts to cause issues in his school activities, but later on he becomes a local celebrity His mother feels that Craig is slowly growing apart from her She ends up alone, given that her husband died in the war, but she still speaks to him as if he were alive and by her side.Jo has felt an attraction to Craig ever since she first saw him They soon get close, even given the extreme height difference She designs a house to fit him and he helps her the whole way His growth eventually makes it impossible for them to be intimate and Jo lives in constant fear that something bad could happen to him view spoiler He gets offered a lifetime insurance from the CIA in exchange for them running tests on him They discover the cause of Craig s growth a brain tumor that is difficult to operate He refuses the operation which would stop his growth because of the risk of not surviving it He is fitted with extra support for his proportionately weak body and hired as a spy for the CIA.Jo, now Craig s wife, takes refuge in her art and is regarded as a talented artist She still loves Craig dearly, but he has become a giant ghost to her Craig decides to leave so he won t hurt Jo or anybody else He feels the end coming.Years later, his fully grown daughter, Iris, goes searching for her father She never finds him, but writes a successful book about the journey hide spoiler Our public library has an adult summer reading program I mean, I don t know how they pull it off We always had one for kids growing up and our public library does that, too BUT, they ve got one for adults With great prizes Gift certificates to local favorite restaurants, bakeries, the book store Seriously, it s great I wrote that part to make you jealous I hope it worked They ve got three boxes fiction, non fiction, pick of the week.This week is graphic novel week So, I pulled a bunch of interesting looking graphic novels off the shelf And I enjoy reading graphic novels So, this is a win win for me Even if I lose.3 Story The Secret History of the Giant Man was another good one 3 Story is a clever pun, as the man grows to the size of several stories And the book is told in three distinct stories.It s reminiscent of Kafka s Metamorphosis, as our protagonist, Craig Pressgang, is freakishly growing up and into something that is distancing him from the rest of humanity especially those nearest to him.You know, I just read another fun and weird graphic novel like this The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil Both of these are recommendably good They d be interesting to read together and discuss.