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Bread and Wine HC an Erotic Tale of New York
Published by Fantagraphics Books
56p, b&w, hardcover, 8.25"x10.5"
I love Samuel Delany's work and the perceptiveness of his writing. I think about Times Square Red Times Square Blue almost every day and I wish the Mad Man was still in print so we could stock it here at the Quimbystore. Bread and Wine has Delany writing with more specificity and depth than ever before about his romance with once-homeless book vendor, Dennis. The story is one I am eager to hear, but as a graphic novel it comes across awkwardly- there is no tension or play between word and image. Wolff's drawings would make great spot illustrations for a more developed text; however, as presented, the artwork is simply literal interpretations of a gentle memoir and doesn't add anything to the story. I'd say that forcing the text into visuals actually acts to inhibit the erotic potential of the prose...I spent the entire book waiting for the comic to feel as surging and loving as I can tell that it wants to be, yet it ends without getting there. -EF