Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography

Paperback | July 15, 2006

byChester Brown

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The bestselling graphic novel on Canada's infamous folk hero is back in a paperback edition with a new cover by Chester Brown. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is the book that launched the graphic novel medium in Canada. Brown received the Harvey Award for best writing and best graphic novel, and made several Best of the Year lists. Publishers Weekly hailed the book as a "contender for best graphic novel ever." Chester Brown reinvents the comic book medium to create a historical biography on Louis Riel. He crafts a compelling and meticulous retelling of the charismatic 19th-century Metis leader, regarded by some as a martyr and by others as a treacherous murderer. Canadian history at its best, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is entertaining and accessible for all ages. "If you love to read a gripping story, if you are awed by the talent of an artist, then look no further: Chester Brown's Louis Riel is comix history in the making, and with it, history never looked so good." -Globe and Mail Ages 14 and up

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From the Publisher

The bestselling graphic novel on Canada's infamous folk hero is back in a paperback edition with a new cover by Chester Brown. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is the book that launched the graphic novel medium in Canada. Brown received the Harvey Award for best writing and best graphic novel, and made several Best of the Year lists...

Chester Brown (Toronto) is the author of I Never Liked You, The Little Man, The Playboy and Yummy Fur. He is an illustrator for the New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.75 × 6.14 × 0.96 inPublished:July 15, 2006Publisher:Drawn & QuarterlyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1894937899

ISBN - 13:9781894937894

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the book. Very nice story and graphic.
Date published: 2013-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great words and pictures!, A wonderful read and innovative comic work
Date published: 2009-08-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Biased but a Fun Read Louis Riel is an infamous Canadian personage. His story is very controversial and the story of what happened back then and what is politically correct to say happened can cause heated debate. In brief, Louis Riel tried to form a provisional government and negotiate with the Canadian government even though Canada had bought the land in which he and the Metis (half white/half Indian) lived. He captured English prisoners and executed one causing a furor in English Canada. Riel was eventually hung as a traitor. This book is very biased to the Louis Riel, hero, side of the story. There are many things that I'm sure the author took license with and made up conversations between the Prime Minister and others to promote the big, bad, conservative, English government view point. However, even though the book is unabashedly pro-Riel, the author did manage to show the opposite viewpoint of him by showing Riel to be the man who thought God had talked to him and told him he would be resurrected three days after his execution. Whether he was a hero of the Metis people or a madman fanatic my person view is that either way he was a traitor to the country of Canada. This is what *I* was taught in school but a more revisionist point of view is taken nowadays to be politically correct. While I laughed at many parts of the book that I think were supposed to be serious, I did enjoy reading the book. It was fun to read and the Canadian history aspect was great to see in a graphic novel. I'd love to see more in the same vein! If you are already familiar with the story of Louis Riel, I think you'd enjoy reading this. But don't start here if you know nothing of the history. Here's a website with a brief intro and a little video that was part of series shown here on Canadian television. http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10646
Date published: 2009-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty and Informative Both revered and despised, Louis Riel brings back all the emotions of ethnic nationalism in Canada. For one of the most complex and intriguing historical figures in Canadian history, Chester Brown does an admirable job in not only recounting the story of Louis Riel but also the major events of that period. To be clear, Brown's version of events is biased by his own admission and certainly some elements were invented to fit the comic-strip. An example of this is the conversation between Lord Granville and Sir John A. Macdonald about sending troops to apprehend Riel. Brown admits that such a conversation never actually took place but certainly Macdonald did have to obtain permission from mother Britain. Another interesting event to me was the meeting between Riel and then US President Ulysses S. Grant in 1875 to discuss plans to invade Manitoba. There were certainly some sympathies from some Americans such as in Minnesota who were pro-annexation but as Brown correctly points out Grant was in no position at the time to risk war, especially since the country was still amidst the reconstruction following the costly civil war. Perhaps most controversial is Brown's characterization of Macdonald. The father of confederation, Brown portrays Macdonald as a ruthless conniving egomaniac hell-bent on expanding the railway (with kickbacks), ethnic cleansing of the Metis, and making an example out of Riel. Based on the sources that we have now, I would have to agree with Brown. Macdonald was a brilliant politician, he out-witted all his opponents including the British, the Americans and the natives. Macdonald was a master manipulator of which there has been no match since. I've read a few comic-strip novels and I think that in certain situations they work extremely well. In this case, I would have to agree, the illustrations along with Brown's wit and choice of dialogue make this both an accurate historical representation and enjoyable reading.
Date published: 2008-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chester brown amazing author When i started reading this book i thought to myself that i would only read about mabey 10 pages but when i got in to it. It turned out to be my favorite book. It is so historicly correct and the story line is genius. They should make more of these kinds of books. out of ten i would give it 5.
Date published: 2007-11-26

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Editorial Reviews

This is an ingenious comic and a major achievement.