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At the start of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon embarked upon an epic ornithological quest across America with nothing but his artist’ s materials, an assistant, a gun and an all-consuming passion for birds...
This beautiful volume tells the story of an incredible artist and adventurer: one who encapsulates the spirit of early America, when the wilderness felt limitless and was still greatly unexplored. Based on Audubon's own retellings, this graphic novel version of his travels captures the wild and adventurous spirit of a truly exceptional naturalist and painter.
About the Author
Fabien Grolleau has written and created several comics for Vide Cocagne (which he co-founded) as well as the graphic novel, Jaques a Dit.
Jérémie Royer is an illustrator and designer. After studying art for two years in Nice, he specialized in comic book art and illustration in Brussels.
A creative reimagining of the life of a man obsessed with the American wilderness and a reminder of a time, long gone, in which birds were so plentiful that the sky went dark when they passed.
—Christoph Irmscher, author of The Poetics of Natural History
With soft illustrations and introspective dialogue, Audubon: On the Wings of the World guides you through his obsessive quest to gather knowledge on North America’s avians.
Grolleau & Royer have created a beautiful tribute to one of America’s first voices for conservation. For any student of history or lover of the natural world, setting aside an hour or two to experience this book will be well worth the time.
—Historical Novel Society
Expressive design and subtle color impart the wonder of natural discoveries on the page, accompanying a sometimes nonlinear account of his life. Royer’s art holds a mirror to nature that’s both idealized and surreal. […] it’s easy to empathize with the rapture at nature as portrayed in the lush, strange beauty of these pages.
Environmentalists, artists, and birders will find this volume enchanting and affecting.
This handsome historical hardcover gives a stunning portrait of the American wilderness in the early 1800s while reminding us what artists may suffer when driven by creativity, as well as the sacrifices of those around them.
—School Library Journal
Everything feels rich and strange and unrestricted, much like the continent must have felt in the early 19th century, when Audubon set out on his journeys. In other words, On the Wings of the World wants to do cataract surgery on your impressions of the time, the place and central figure, and it succeeds beautifully.
What makes this book such a fascinating read is instead of glorifying a person that was unarguably a passionate and expressive artist, it unflinchingly describes a man that was clearly a product of his time.
Grolleau and Royer present the life of a very flawed person whose extreme efforts made lasting impact and leave you with plenty to think about regarding conservation as well as the nature of art.
Audubon: On the Wings of the World is a fascinating and extraordinary life story, highly recommended especially for public library graphic novel collections.
—Midwest Book Review