Friday, September 26, 2008

Mateki the Magic Flute by Yoshitaka Amano

I've had a long time love affair with the art of Yoshitaka Amano. I can't remember when exactly it was that I first discovered him, but I've been a fan of his artwork since that first day and he's been one of my favorite living artists for awhile. Needless to say, I was super excited to hear that he had a new book out, Mateki, The Magic Flute. Mateki is a book of very few words, but no words are really needed. Just the basics to give an outline of the story while the art tells the story in full. The few words that are shared are beautiful indeed, but the art is simply stunning and I expect nothing less from Mr. Amano. Mateki begins with a creation story, of a dark lord named Yasha who breathes life into the world and then closes his eyes to rest, until he is awakened one day by Kouran's flute and it's beautiful sound. Yasha instanly wants the flute for his own when he hears it and is envious of Kouran for possessing it. Meanwhile, Kouran has fallen in love at first sight with a beautiful woman named Shaana and with her, Yasha finds his bartering tool for the flute. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this graphic novel. It's equally an art book and has in fact been referred to as an art book on many sites. Amano's watercolors are filled with emotion and his pencils have this amazing quality of looking like a rough sketch yet completely finished at the same time. If you're a lover of art, a lover of graphic novels, or a lover of a good story, I'd consider this a must have. Aside from reading Mateki, I've been slowly working on The Secret History of Moscow and am almost finished it. I'm sort of in the middle when it comes to my current read. I'm really enjoying the story, but at the same time it's not a book that I've been able to sit down with and get lost in. It also reminds me so much of a mix between Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and American Gods that it's hard for me not to compare it to the two which isn't a good thing for the book since those are two of my favorite books and it would be hard indeed to live up to that expectation. Speaking of Neil, 4 more days until The Graveyard Book comes out! I know what the entire blogosphere will be reading on September 30th ;) I also just found out about a new ghost story compilation that is out with a short story by Orson Scott Card in it! It's called Ghost Quartet and I think I'll pick it up when I pick up The Graveyard Book...they'd make great RIP reads. Oh, and one last thing....I got an iPhone today! I'm just a tad bit obsessed with it, but I'm sure that will die down in time. Needless to say, I've already run down the entire battery, so now it's charging. Off to enjoy this beautiful Fall weather now...hope you are too!

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