Over the last few years, I have grown to have a real appreciation for graphic novels. I was moved by Maus, learned a lot from Persepolis and Boxers & Saints, and LOL’d at Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong and Chickenhare. But I will admit, that I sometimes skim graphic novels. I concentrate on reading the words instead of synthesizing the words and the pictures for the full story.
That’s why these two books are so cool. They are wordless graphic novels. You might think that this means you can “read” them really quick, because all you need to do is glance at the pictures, but it’s not that easy. To really appreciate the story, you need to take you time and really “read” each panel, look at the detail in each scene.
Robot Dreams tells the story of a friendship between a dog and his robot. But after a trip to the beach when the robot becomes rusty, the dog abandons him there. He then spends the next year trying to find a friend as good as the robot. Robot, meanwhile, spends his time daydreaming of better places.
The Arrival is about a man who leaves his family to begin building a life for them in a new country. The images are beautiful sepia toned drawings of his journey to a place where he does not speak the language, and therefore cannot communicate with words. There are some fantastical features in the new land, which are meant to emphasize how strange a foreign country can be when you are alone and know no one.