This is how one should be remembered! A company should be created that pairs great artist and writers with people who wish to have their lives turned into graphic novels. In 2012, we had the extraordinary opportunity to read Alan’s War, the story of Alan Cope and his tour of duty in France during WWII. It was riveting and truly one of the best autobiographies I had ever read. Continuing in that tradition is the second installment of Alan’s story How The World Was: A California Childhood. In this intimate and whimsical story, artist Emmanuel Guibert, once again, exquisitely does with paint what can best be described as a waking dream. Emmanuel’s passion for this subject matter goes well beyond the actual story and bridges on supernatural.
How the World Was is Emmanuel Guibert’s moving return to documenting the life of his friend. Cope died several years ago, as Guibert was just beginning work on this book, but Guibert has kept working to commit his friend’s story to paper. Cope grew up in California during the great depression, and this remarkable graphic novel details the little moments that make a young man’s life…while capturing the scope of America during the great depression.
A lyrical, touching portrait, How the World Was is a gift for a dear friend in the last moments of his life… and also a meditation on the birth of modern America.
A simple story, but wonderfully complex and bursting with nostalgia, How The World….holds nothing back. Like Alan’s War, this story is told using Alan’s words and at times, some of his actual pictures. The story is brilliant in recreating Alan’s world as a youngster growing up in a post-depression era California. We are blessed to have had this union of writer and narrator happen, many of Alan’s recollections are so vivid and honest, my heart bursts with empathy and respect.
Alan’s way of dealing with the world paves the way for his love for human connection, a trait we see a lot of in Alan’s War. How The World…helps put Alan’s War in context. How did this young man from California become as compassionate and as introspective as he was? The answer…family. An intricate networks of connections peppered young Alan’s life with paths that he could take, paths that molded him into the man he became.
How The World Was, is an immense success in paying homage to an American, veteran and human being.