99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style - Matt Madden

Exercises in perfection

Book Review by Ali Maloney | 15 Jul 2006
How many ways could you tell the same story? Or, an even greater challenge, how many ways could you tell the same, insignificant everyday moment?
That's the task that cartoonist Matt Madden sets himself: reinterpreting the same incident from a wealth of perspectives, exploring the limitless stylistic possibilities of the medium of comics. The collection works on one level as a textbook of technique - showing each strip as a how-to; as all manner of abstractions; as the cartoonist's solitaire; "plus one", where every frame introduces an extra person. The book also works brilliantly as a Calvin and Hobbes-esque slice of existentialist hilarity, retelling the tale as a tribute to 'Tales from the Crypt' or as a lost fragment of the Bayeux Tapestry. Endlessly (well, up to 99 anyway) inventive and invaluable for anyone who likes to tell a story, but equally worthwhile for anyone who just wants to be entertained. Utter perfection. [Ali Maloney]
Published by Jonathan Cape. Out July 6th. Cover Price £12.99.