By Laurent Queyssi & Mauro Marchesi, translated by Edward Gauvin (NBM)
Publisher NBM expand their fabulous line of European-created dramatized graphic biographies with this latest gem originally released as PHIL: Une vie de Philip K. Dick.
This compelling luxury hardcover (also available in digital formats) investigates one of the most intriguing characters of the 20th century: a man who could arguably be thought of as the John the Baptist of modern existential civilisation and a futurist seer of human interaction and competition.
Philip Kindred Dick (16th December 1928 – 2nd March 1982) explored political, social and philosophical themes through science fiction stories created during the most innovative period of the genre’s entire history. Despite personal feelings of failure, his genre work -incorporating and predicting monopolistic corporate capitalism, alternate realities, the blurry edges of artificial intelligence and altered states of consciousness – changed the way the world thinks and provided road maps for how we meat-minds think in an increasingly digital age.
However, as this superb graphic treatise shows, although he was driven to excel in its creation, he had no respect for his own “non-literary” canon and never realised he was the right man at just the right time…
Dick was demon-driven, charismatic, paranoid, inspired, drug-and-approval dependent, a serial lothario and usually deeply unhappy. Hardly a likable or even sympathetic character -even as seen through the lens of author, screenwriter and translator Laurent Queyssi (Neurotwistin’, Allison, Blackline) who clearly adores his subject’s oeuvre – this is nevertheless an incredibly enticing peek into the world of the legend, deftly and seductively pieced together in moving morsels of emotional highs and lows.
Much of the success must be attributed to artist, illustrator and educator Mauro Marchesi (enerazione M, Magico Mondiale, Mamba) whose graceful, understated art beguiles the reader every step of the way. I’m loathe to froth – or use made-up words I haven’t actually coined myself – but this book was literally unputdownable. I started late on the night my review copy arrived, intending to scan the opening and get a feel for it, and the next thing I know it’s 02:30 and I’m wondering why the house is so dark and quiet…
Accompanied by an adroit and incisive Postscript from the author and a fulsome Biography, this is another visual masterpiece honouring a major force in the history and culture of our complex world, and one you should track down as soon as you can, if not sooner …
© Blue Lotus Prod. Paris, 2017 by Goetzinger. © 2018 NBM for the English translation.
Philip K. Dick – A Comics Biography is scheduled for release January 30th, 2019 and is available for pre-order now.
For more information and other great reads go to NBM Publishing.