- Title: Kings in Disguise: A Novel
- Author: James Vance
- ISBN: 9780393328486
- Page: 390
- Format: Paperback
This award winning tale, set in the height of the Great Depression, received rave reviews long before graphic novels became the phenomenon they are today Hailed as one of the top 100 comics of all time by The Comics Journal, Kings in Disguise now reemerges as a classic It is January 1932, and movie loving Freddie Bloch is trading his father s liquor bottles for the costThis award winning tale, set in the height of the Great Depression, received rave reviews long before graphic novels became the phenomenon they are today Hailed as one of the top 100 comics of all time by The Comics Journal, Kings in Disguise now reemerges as a classic It is January 1932, and movie loving Freddie Bloch is trading his father s liquor bottles for the cost a matinee Dreams were only a dime, but empty bottles only brought a penny apiece When his father disappears and his brother gets arrested, Freddie finds himself homeless and adrift, trying to survive during the Detroit labor riots and amid the furor of violent, anti communist mobs Winner of the Eisner Award and the Harvey Award for Best New Series and an additional Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.
Recent Comments "Kings in Disguise: A Novel"
This is more of a 3.5 for me but I feel bad beating up on a book that's made professionally and sides with the angels. It's a rambling, disjointed account of a young boy's experiences as a hobo during the Great Depression—a story that ends up both fascinating and a bit paint-by-numbers. Train-hopping, bulls with billy clubs, communism and anti-communism, bean cans and newsboy hats. It's all sincere and filled with shades of compelling stories, but it never really gripped me. I partly blame the [...]
Good to see reissue of Kings in Disguise: A Graphic NovelBy James Vance and Dan BurrThis award-winning tale, set in the height of the Great Depression, received rave reviews long before graphic novels became the phenomenon they are today. Hailed as one of the top 100 comics of all time by The Comics Journal, Kings in Disguise now reemerges as a classic.It is January 1932, and movie-loving Freddie Bloch is trading his father's liquor bottles for the cost a matinee: "Dreams were only a dime, but e [...]
Powerful account of hobo life in the Great Depression, with two compelling characters. For a similar graphic novel, check out Rob Vollmar & Pablo G. Callejo'sThe Castaways
Es emocionante y duro a partes iguales ver todo por lo que tiene que pasar el protagonista, Freddie Bloch; su evolución y cómo se ve obligado a madurar siendo aún un niño desde que se ve obligado a abandonar su casa a la edad de 12 años, convirtiéndose en un vagabundo, y nada menos que en la época de la Gran Depresión.
Not for me. There were a lot of trains, but none took the story far enough. Something was missing.
Considered one of the early graphic novel classics that paved the way for stories beyond the usual superheroes and comedy sketches, this is the coming of age tale set in the background of the Great Depression in the U.S. as serve as an antithesis of the American Dream, being a 'rags to rags' story, as Alan Moore so eloquently calls it in the preface. It reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, the classic from Steinbeck, in its bleak portrayal of the devastating impact the Great Depression had on human l [...]
Very good historical graphic novel, both for visuals and storyline. I read the intro and preface after reading the book, and I'm glad I did.
A less than satisfying prequel to On the Ropes: A Novel, and in many ways it is the same book lacking the melodramatic labor organizer subplots that propelled Ropes and the sharply defined characters doing their best to survive a world that no longer needs them. The runaway success of the stage version of Ropes in the late 1970s led Vance to write a one act stage play of Kings a decade later to satisfy his fans and his own curiosity about what propelled Bloch onto the road. Kings is an expanded [...]
Almost two hundred pages take the reader on a trek with Freddie, a twelve year old boy who left home when his father left him and his older brother to fend for themselves in the ‘Hungry Thirties.’ He had no mother and his father was financially at the end of his rope. As his father left he mentioned going to Detroit to seek work at one of the auto plants in ‘Motor City.’ In desperation Freddie later sets out to attempt finding his father in Detroit, riding the rails from town to town and [...]
I was put off at first by Dan Burr's static drawing style, but then it hit me: this is how we remember the Great Depression. Still photos, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, all that. Not to mention that everything seemed to shut off and slow down during those dire, hungry times. And then I noticed that Burr's style gets very kinetic when desperate Ford workers are gunned down and beaten by Harry Bennett's goons in Dearborn -- all culminating in a expansive, serene drawing of dead and immobilized wor [...]
It was alright. See, one of the biggest problems with a lot of graphic novel writers, in my opinion, is they let their words speak far more than their art. I'm personally more inclined towards the writers than opt to use as minimal dialogue and narration, while pacing it with the visuals perfectly. Kings in Disguise had its moments, but the last half was so overly-narrative, I started to lose interest. I liked what Sam and the kid had between each other, but the other characters either weren't a [...]
I read Kings over the weekend. I really liked the book, having read the component issue when they came out 20+ years ago. I saw myself in Freddie's shoes which made his journey all the more dramatic. His traveling companion, The King of Spain, was a decent guy and I would like to believe that though so much of the country was going through such economic devastation, that most people were still humane in their behavior.I never for a moment took for granted that Freddie would survive his travels. [...]
This is a story of hobos during the time of the Great Depression. It revolves around Freddie who sets out to Detroit to look for his father. On the way he meets Sam aka "The King of Spain" and they hold on to each other on this journey. Freddie is a true boy scout who looks out for his friends and who is not hesitant to stand up for himself and question people. It is a beautiful story of friendship, survival and kindness. It reminds me of the novel, Maus written by Art Spiegelman and I would str [...]
Wow.[return][return]This is the kind of book that really gets you thinking about your life and the things that are truly important in it.[return][return]A peek into the life of "Freddie" from age twelve through a few years, we see how he attempts to stay alive while living life as a hobo in depression era america.[return][return]James Vance has created a truly incredible and poignant tale that stays with you long after you put the book down. And Dan's artwork is just perfect to take you into tha [...]
Excellent graphic novel about the Great Depression. Freddy Bloch's mother has died. His father has lost his job and has sunken into an alcoholic depression. When his father leaves to seek work in Detroit, deserting his two sons, and his older brother is about to be hauled off to jail for an assault, Freddy takes off. He eventually joins with an older sickly hobo, riding the rails and seeking to stay alive and fed while seeking his father in Detroit. Moving and remarkably well done. Reminded me o [...]
Set towards the end of the Great Depression, Freddie has to leave home because his father has run off and his brother is headed to jail for assault--a crime perpetrated in order to feed his family. After almost being abused by a homeless couple, Freddie finds a true friend in Sam, who claims to be King of Spain. Sam proclaims Freddie King of France and takes him under his wing, teaching him the rules of the road and keeping him as safe as he can.I really enjoyed this bit of history, which includ [...]
In all honesty, I wanted to enjoy this book but it wasn't my thing. I typically enjoy historical fictions but am not a fan of graphic realism in illustrated stories, I feel as though the characters personalities and looks were all blended together into this grey fog of detached story telling. I can tell so much is packed into this one piece of history but towards the end I could feel the pace start to taper off. There wasn't a traditional climax. I even feel as though the moment of recognition b [...]
This graphic novel was originally published in the 1980s, during the first wave of media attention to the "graphic novel." The story is a beautifully drawn and moving story set during the Great Depression, and it follows a young boy and the older man that he befriends as they make their way, homeless and broke, across the country. Along the way they encounter economic strife, and labor and political unrest.
OkI'm giving this three stars because other people seem to think it was really good, and I got used to the illustration style and it grew on me a little. But the wordy narration did not match up with the story about a young boy at all, and in the interest of teaching a lesson about uhe harsh realities of the Depression and the capitalist system (or something?) it lost most of its narrative credibility, and I was disappointed.
One of the books being featured in our local library's on-going train series. First graphic novel I've ever read.I'm glad I read this, more because I have never read a graphic novel than for any other reason. I struggled with not always being able to tell the difference between the characters by the drawings and the short, choppy feeling of the genre doesn't really appeal to me. It's probably a pretty well-done book for a graphic novel. It just isn't for me.
i want to like this more than i do. although the story is sweeping, i didn't feel swept. i didn't have a residual feel of being on a train car, in a labor riot, or in a hobo camp. i guess it didn't fully feel genuine to me. the art is interesting, but i consistently had a problem with perspective (particularly the arms). the work has the potential to be a good portrait of the 1930s, but for me i just didn't feel it.
A very good coming-of-age graphic novel set in 1932. We see hobos, Hooverviles, freight train hoppers, the struggling American socialist movement, and the Ford Hunger March in Dearborn Michigan through the eyes of a thirteen year-old boy. James Vance has done his homework, the history is accurate and the hobo vulgate is remarkably vibrant--not to mention humorous--to the post-modern ear.
Right now i think "Kings In Disguise" is the greatest graphic novel i have ever read, equal to "Maus". The writing in it is amazing. The main character is spit out into the world and compelled to travel in search of answers. Swallowed and spit back out, if you've ever experienced that, this novel will hit you right there.
Excellent account of young men forced to live a nomadic life in the Great Depression. Interesting variances: the main characters are Jewish, the breadth of hunger and lack of resources is well-illustrated, and the harshness and love generated in difficult times was enlightening. Not a light read, but a damn good change of pace for those os us who love graphic novels with substance.
It was a touching and personal story. I felt that it was about me. Not that I have experienced the same life, but I pondered my own life as I read the book. My biggest difficulty was that sometimes I confused the characters as they were drawn. The distinctions were sometimes a bit too subtle. But again, that happens in life sometimes too. I highly recommend this book.
Paints a remarkably complex picture of hobo life in the Great Depression. Interesting portrayals of soup kitchen preachers, "red" labor agitators and a broad range of gentlemen of the road. I can't verify the accuracy of the period details, but it seemed legit to me. Definitely a classic of the genre.
A graphic *novel* if I ever read one, sort of like Alan Moore meets Theodore Dreiser. I found this sad but wonderfully detailed story remarkable for the many ways it avoided the cliches and obvious tear-jerker moments that would have been so easy to work into it, the lack of which make it all the more moving.
A good read. Follows the trails and tribulations of a young man making his own way through the Great Depression. It's a bit episodic though, in that characters from the beginning of the book disappear to never be seen again and it just kind of ends. But nice characterization and a good story.
Who knew the Great Depression was so damn.essing? But seriously folks, this is a very good character study and would serve as a good conveyor of the history to teens. Some of the ancillary characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, but all-in-all a fine read.
Up there with Maus and Safe Area: Gorazde, to be read more than once. Vivid and disturbing, as good a depiction of humanity's core struggles as I've seen anywhere. Full of sympathy and surprises. Many good and many not, but none predictable.
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