Sunday, April 5, 2009

Short Review: Gabrielle Bell's "Cecil and Jordan In New York Stories"

Gabrielle Bell's Cecil and Jordan In New York Stories is the kind of book you want to save for certain moments: during a solitary brunch; with coffee near a sunny window; sitting in Central Park. The book is a collection of graphic novel-style tales ranging from funny, to introspective, to utterly heart-breaking.

I'd never really read anything of Gabrielle Bell's before this one, but I'd met her a few times in mutual social settings. I attended her birthday party in Brooklyn just last week that had the best spread I've ever seen: sliced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Nilla wafers to dip in vanilla frosting, a strainer full of animal crackers, and brightly-frosted cupcakes made with love.

Knowing how she speaks, and acts and even how she shakes a hand, reading her stories have a further depth to them. I see her in each one of the stories, even if she's not a character, with the sad, deep, thoughtful echo that is her trademark.

Cecil and Jordan won't be the best art you've ever seen in a book, or even the best written; but it's a simply beautiful, delicate and inspiring collection of illustrated bits of reality.

Click "Read More" for a page from one of my favorite stories from the book, "I Feel Nothing."


JahFurry said...

nice, i agree bell has a magic something that's beyond skill. great description by you of what makes bell special

kimberly ann josephine said...

oo. i think i might like this a lot. i wonder if we have it at the strand. i hope so. good review! it did it's job! hehe. in that. i want to read this, now. yay.

shawnster said...

I liked some of the stories more than others, for sure: I think "Felix" was my favourite.

I wrote a review for my website:

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