Monday, September 14, 2009

Siberia: A Graphic Novel by Nikolai Maslov

Well since I've done a post earlier on Watchmen and I'm reading Sandman now (Neil Gaiman), I thought I would check and see if Russia had any graphic novels worth reading. Upon searching, I found one titled "Siberia" by Nikolai Maslov. The novel is an autobiography of Maslov, who lived in Siberia and had joined the military. It starts in 2000 when he asks a book salesman to pay for the publishing of his book. The salesman was impressed by Maslov's use of simple pencil drawings and insightful dialogue and agreed.

Maslov makes ample references to Russia's vodka-drinking culture and to harshness of the soviet regime. The novel is described as both revealing Russia's cynical outlook while providing hope for a better future. A quote from the novel about Maslov's father: "Up to the end,” the trial transcripts attest, “he said the same thing—‘I’m not at all against the revolution, but before it, we had bread, and now we no longer have any. So, where’s our bread?’ He was executed by gunshot that evening." Sounds pretty cutting. Those Russians sure have a way with literature don't they? Well anyway, I'd be interested in reading this novel.

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