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Moving Pictures

Cover of Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures

Nominated for the 2011 Stumptown Award and Doug Wright Award!

"A wonderful, poignant surprise." — Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life

"Most of the story seems less drawn than peeled and chiseled away from absolute visual and moral darkness... [Moving Pictures] suggests how art can be a lifeline to meaning at a moment when nothing seems possible but betrayal." — Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

"This elegant and evocative historical graphic novel explores the personal relationships involved in protecting internationally recognized works of fine art during the Nazi occupation of Paris ... the storytelling and the characters are as sober as the crisp, heavy black-and-white of its images ... Deftly told, the whole story resonates long after its appropriately ambiguous final pages." — Booklist (starred review)

"Subtle [and] mature ... the Immonens keep the story spare and focused to allow the ambiguity of survival itself to become the drama." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An engaging story that comments on art and value, decency and free will, and what it means to follow your convictions." — Torontoist

"A multifaceted story full of difficult storytelling and ambiguous morality... illustrative of what a major writing talent Kathryn Immonen really is. Husband Stuart's work is equally excellent, closed and evocative with skillful use of light and shadow." — The AV Club

"A sparse, bleak experience that moves with slow, deliberate steps through a world of deep, ambiguous shadow." — Comics Alliance

"Moving and atmospheric... The striking black and white artwork is suitably stark and moody and matched for impact by the brisk, loaded dialogue, lending the characters a life-like depth and immediacy." — Christian Kerr, BlogCritics

Top Shelf is proud to welcome Kathryn & Stuart Immonen (Ultimate Spider-Man, Nextwave, Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Never as Bad as You Think) to the Top Shelf family with this thrilling, intimate tale of love, war, and art.

Moving Pictures is the story of the awkward and dangerous relationship between curator Ila Gardner and officer Rolf Hauptmann, as they are forced by circumstances to play out their private lives in a public power struggle. The narrative unfolds along two timelines which collide with the revelation of a terrible secret, an enigmatic decision that not many would make, and the realization that sometimes the only choice left is the refusal to choose.

In a recent interview at comicbookresources.com, Kathryn explained that "The history is just a backdrop to tell a messed-up love story that's about how we assign value to things and people, how we behave when not everyone is playing by the same rules" and "in the end, maybe it's all about the fundamentally perverse nature of desire, about not being to help wanting what you want even if you don't know why. And how, from the outside, we really don't know anything about someone else's intimacies."

Nominated for the 2011 Stumptown Award and Doug Wright Award!

"A wonderful, poignant surprise." — Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life

"Most of the story seems less drawn than peeled and chiseled away from absolute visual and moral darkness... [Moving Pictures] suggests how art can be a lifeline to meaning at a moment when nothing seems possible but betrayal." — Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

"This elegant and evocative historical graphic novel explores the personal relationships involved in protecting internationally recognized works of fine art during the Nazi occupation of Paris ... the storytelling and the characters are as sober as the crisp, heavy black-and-white of its images ... Deftly told, the whole story resonates long after its appropriately ambiguous final pages." — Booklist (starred review)

"Subtle [and] mature ... the Immonens keep the story spare and focused to allow the ambiguity of survival itself to become the drama." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An engaging story that comments on art and value, decency and free will, and what it means to follow your convictions." — Torontoist

"A multifaceted story full of difficult storytelling and ambiguous morality... illustrative of what a major writing talent Kathryn Immonen really is. Husband Stuart's work is equally excellent, closed and evocative with skillful use of light and shadow." — The AV Club

"A sparse, bleak experience that moves with slow, deliberate steps through a world of deep, ambiguous shadow." — Comics Alliance

"Moving and atmospheric... The striking black and white artwork is suitably stark and moody and matched for impact by the brisk, loaded dialogue, lending the characters a life-like depth and immediacy." — Christian Kerr, BlogCritics

Top Shelf is proud to welcome Kathryn & Stuart Immonen (Ultimate Spider-Man, Nextwave, Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Never as Bad as You Think) to the Top Shelf family with this thrilling, intimate tale of love, war, and art.

Moving Pictures is the story of the awkward and dangerous relationship between curator Ila Gardner and officer Rolf Hauptmann, as they are forced by circumstances to play out their private lives in a public power struggle. The narrative unfolds along two timelines which collide with the revelation of a terrible secret, an enigmatic decision that not many would make, and the realization that sometimes the only choice left is the refusal to choose.

In a recent interview at comicbookresources.com, Kathryn explained that "The history is just a backdrop to tell a messed-up love story that's about how we assign value to things and people, how we behave when not everyone is playing by the same rules" and "in the end, maybe it's all about the fundamentally perverse nature of desire, about not being to help wanting what you want even if you don't know why. And how, from the outside, we really don't know anything about someone else's intimacies."

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 17, 2010
    First presented as a Web comic, this subtle, mature book details Ila Gardner's life in a France first threatened, then occupied by Nazi Germany. Employed as a museum curator and in charge of primarily minor works, Ila uses what little power she has to protect France's art from the rapacious Nazis by sending works into the safety of storage down in the museum's poorly documented basement. Aloof and seemingly indifferent to the events around her, in reality Ila is consumed with a genuine but ineffectual outrage over the course of history in Europe. Stuart Immonen's art is simple and starkly contrasted, at times as difficult to read as Ila herself. The face of the occupiers is the curiously sympathetic Rolf Hauptmann, the man who is by turns Ila's opponent, lover, protector, and interrogator. The true nature of what the Nazis are up to is not explicit, only implied by passing comments in the discussions between Ila and those around her. Avoiding the melodramatic trap many well-meaning graphic novels set around the horrors of WWII fall into, the Immonens keep the story spare and focused to allow the ambiguity of survival itself to become the drama.

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    Top Shelf Productions
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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