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Cravan: Mystery Man of the Twentieth Centuryby Mike Richardson and Rick Geary
Synopses & Reviews
This is the true story about the most interesting person you've never heard of: Arthur Cravan, major figure in pre-WWI cutting-edge art circles, was among the greatest mysterious figures of the twentieth century. A self-confessed thief, forger, and con-artist, he used a roster of assumed names and false identities. He was known, at various times, as a novelist, poet, painter, art critic, lecturer, publisher, and the lightweight boxing champion of France. Always a rebellious, restless spirit, this dedicated rule-breaker was a political radical whose friendship with Leon Trotsky earned him the surveillance of the U.S. government — even through his immigration to Mexico with his wife, the poet Mina Loy. In 1918, at the age of thirty-one, the fascinating physical giant vanished without a trace, and — despite several supposed sightings over the years — was never seen again. Is it possible that he became the mysterious, reclusive novelist B. Traven, who wrote The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?
Rick Geary, best known for his acclaimed Treasury of Victorian Murder series, richly illustrates this absorbing true story.
"It's not known what became of Arthur Cravan — boxer, poet, adventurer, hoaxer and Oscar Wilde's nephew — after he disappeared while sailing to Mexico in 1918. This graphic novel biography presents the larger-than-life incidents from his life, including various daring escapes, schemes and a scam involving boxing matches with Jack Johnson. Along the way, Cravan runs into such figures as Leon Trotsky and marries poet Mina Loy. Richardson even adds to the mystery by speculating that Cravan was also reclusive B. Traven, author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Geary, creator of the outstanding Treasury of Victorian Murder series, is an excellent choice to illustrate and co-write this historical overview. His distinctive pen-and-ink style captures the reality of the times, especially when it comes to establishing settings like cluttered sitting rooms or angry groups of men in striped suits. Cravan embarrasses his family but claims it's all for experience to become a writer. Their good advice — 'If you want to write, sit down and write' — is ignored in favor of more sensation seeking. The result is a life of violence and dada, a colorful footnote to the history of the era." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Arthur Cravan...claimed to be Oscar Wilde's nephew; labored and scammed around the world; was a charter Dadaist in Paris; met Jack Johnson in New York and sparred with him in Europe; married avant-garde poet Mina Loy; and disappeared in 1918 trying to get away from it all....All those escapades and more Geary renders in his characteristically droll, historically observant manner." Booklist
"The format should entice teens to pick it up, and some may even be intrigued enough to seek out more information about the man themselves." VOYA
About the Author
Author/Artist Rick Geary is full of facts about strange goings — on, from politics to true crime stories to great disasters like the Molasses Flood in Boston. Yet he's so smiley and happy you would never know he has a penchant for investigating dark stuff like this, which he does meticulously, thereafter creating graphic novels of intense interest and tongue-in-cheek humor.
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