Graphic Novel Review: Petrograd by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook)

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Arti­cle first pub­lished as Graphic Novel Review: Pet­ro­grad by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) on Blogcritics.

Pet­ro­grad by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) is a graphic novel about an assas­si­na­tion. The graphic nov­els tells about an inter­na­tional con­spir­acy behind the mur­der of Gre­gorii Rasputin.

  • 264 pages
  • Pub­lisher: Oni Press
  • ISBN: 1934964441

 My rat­ing for Pet­ro­grad — 5

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More books by Philip Gelatt
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The graphic novel Pet­ro­grad by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) is more of a his­tor­i­cal thriller than any­thing else. The death of Gre­gorii Rasputin has gen­er­ated much con­tro­versy at the time and many more con­spir­acy the­o­ries which are always fun and sup­ply fod­der for authors.

The story, while fic­tional, seems real­is­tic enough to have actu­ally hap­pen (almost). Some­how Mr. Crook took the blighted atmos­phere which authors try very hard to cre­ate and drew it. While I’m sure that many cre­ative licenses were taken, as they are in every his­tor­i­cal novel, I still enjoyed the story immensely.

But don’t let the words “graphic novel” fool you. Pet­ro­grad takes his­tor­i­cal facts (as seen by Amer­i­cans) and re-tells the story in the for­mat of an espi­onage thriller. The sepia tones of the art­work well match the gray­ness of the spy world where the line between good and bad is impos­si­ble to distinguish.

The nar­ra­tive is fast paced and effi­cient. Mr. Gelatt works around the era it is designed to intro­duce, but does not get too bogged down. What I really loved about the book that Rasputin, while a major player in the book, is always on the side­lines of the story but influ­ences almost every action of every char­ac­ter. There are some com­plex issues intro­duced in the book (hunger, despair, monar­chy, rev­o­lu­tion and more) but the story man­ages to address them with­out lecturing.

The art in the graphic novel is both bleak and gor­geous. The pic­tures, mostly in sepia tones tell the story in vivid detail and com­pli­ment the espi­onage aspect of the book. As in every suc­cess­ful graphic nov­els, the com­bi­na­tion of art and words com­pli­ment­ing each other is done mag­nif­i­cently with care and atten­tion to detail.

The pack­ag­ing itself is well done and wor­thy of the price tag. The hard cover makes a won­der­ful pre­sen­ta­tion, the pages are on thick paper, printed clearly and are a plea­sure to read and look through.

So tell me, do you enjoy his­tor­i­cal graphic novels?

World War I is rav­aging the world. Hunger, depres­sion and despair reign while only hard core rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies at the bot­tom of the food chain and those in the upper ech­e­lons of gov­ern­ment cling to a drop of hope.

The pow­ers that be think that Rasputin is urg­ing the royal fam­ily to make a sep­a­rate peace pact with­Ger­many, which will free them to fight the war again­stEng­land. Cleary, an unen­thu­si­as­tic Eng­lish spy is sta­tioned inRus­si­aand has been given the most dif­fi­cult assign­ment of his career: plan and devise the assas­si­na­tion of Gre­gorii Rasputin, the most trusted advi­sor of the Tsarina.

Get a great price on this book
through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

More books by Philip Gelatt
More books by Tyler Crook

 Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from Oni  Press

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