Dreams and everyday life for iPad reviewed by PersianCatPress
The app is a series of interconnected stories that all share similar themes and revolve around the unnamed protagonist, a portly top hat wearing gentleman.
This graphic novel doesn’t feature grandiose earth shattering narratives but instead it chooses to keep things (mostly) grounded and focus on the simple, important things in life. While it may touch on careers, money and health, the raison d'être of this app is to explore the day-to-day things that make us who we are.
Aviv Ratzin has created a world filled with incredibly detailed and true-to-life situations and some genuine laugh out loud moments. Through the portly protagonist and his idle thoughts and dreams we’re taken to other worlds and fantastical side stories. Whether it’s a suicidal cacti or a futuristic world where everyone literally lives in their own personal bubble, Aviv has expertly brought it to life.
Dreams and Everyday Life may have a simple visual style - although occasionally detailed illustrations are thrown into the mix - but a little goes a very long way. This helps keep the focus on what’s really important – Ratzin’s story.
For all intents and purposes, this is simply a straight port of the graphic novel that appeared in book form. With this in mind there’s little in the way of interaction and surprisingly no bookmark feature. And despite its low age rating, there is some strong language.
But minor gripes aside, this is a truly brilliant app.
Dreams and Everyday Life carries humour, intellect and wit by the bucket load. Aviv Ratzin has captured all the little moments that make up modern life and they all ring true. It’s a simply spellbinding read that deserves more than a single read through.
Visit PersianCarPress here.
Thomas Wogan is dead, Dreams and everyday life, Trial & error, A day in the life of Alfred
During Broken Frontier’s recent Brits On Top event, we interviewed Kevin Quinn of UK Indie publishers Tabella about the company's eclectic range of titles. Today BF takes a closer critical look at Tabella’s output and discovers some gems of OGNs lurking in the back catalogue of this up-and-coming British outfit…
A contradiction in terms it may sound, but Tabella's Thomas Wogan is Dead can best be described as a black comedy with charm. David Hughes’s wickedly funny tale is set in a surreal waiting room as the titular Thomas and a whole host of fauna look back on their lives, attempt to work out how they got there and exactly where it is they are. From the book’s title, and that brief synopsis, the perceptive will perhaps already be hearing the faint echoes of a certain Sartre play. However, Thomas Wogan is more than an homage; this acidic, witty offering cleverly presents the reader with a protagonist who is both intensely irritating and yet deeply sympathetic as well. As the events of his life play out, Hughes’s great triumph is in turning the compulsive and socially awkward Thomas, with all his obsessive foibles, from unlikeable inadequate into a character the audience both empathises with and roots for. Don’t get me wrong though; this is no saccharine feelgood story of a loser coming good. Thomas Wogan is Dead’s mordant humour is biting, naughty and, occasionally, in gloriously awful taste. The back stories of the various animals who accompany Thomas in the ethereal waiting room, for example, have moments of what I can only describe as laugh-out-loud grossness to them. I have obviously never met David Hughes but, on the strength of Thomas Wogan is Dead, I like to think he would be terribly entertaining company over a pint or two… in a dry, acerbic kind of way.
Aviv Ratzin’s Dreams and Everyday Life is a book that is, simultaneously, about everything and nothing in particular. If you want to sit back and enjoy a creator ably exploiting every unique storytelling device that the comics form has to offer in a tour-de-force stream of consciousness then you cannot go wrong with this irreverently witty OGN.
Ratzin casts himself as the narrator of a madcap three-act set piece. The first two sections are a meandering, interlinked reflection on subjects as diverse as the perils of picking up hitchhikers, creative inspiration, leaky roofs and suicidal cacti! In the final chapter, Ratzin extrapolates on his surrealist approach with a futuristic, consumer parable that concludes his whimsical flights of fancy with a fittingly grand finale. Dreams and Everyday Life is one of those graphic novels that so wonderfully rewards re-reading. Few comics can persuade me to give them a near-instant second viewing, but Ratzin’s playful tour of random thoughts and scenarios is one of those rare exceptions to that rule.
While Ratzin’s artistic style may seem minimalist at a first glance, the reader should not be deceived by the elegant simplicity of his layouts. Make no mistake, this is one of the cleverest and most insightful uses of the medium you will have the pleasure of reading in a long time.
It’s up to the interpretation of the individual reader as to whether the books of Norwegian creator Oivind Hovland are graphic novels, illustrated story books, or something in between. A Day in the Life of Alfred is an engaging tale of loneliness, routine and a man’s obsession with a childhood “trauma”, while the beautifully presented Trial and Error follows the life of the aviation obsessed French nobleman Jean Babtiste de Bomberaque. The latter, in particular, showcases Hovland’s gorgeously evocative black and white splash pages and two-page spreads. Each of these volumes is, admittedly, a swift read - presented in the familiar style of children’s books - but they combine a stylish narrative economy with darker, adult humour in handsome, top quality packages. Students of graphic design will find them particularly worth a punt.
Tabella may be a smaller publisher at the moment, and their back catalogue still building, but they represent another (albeit smaller) facet of a burgeoning UK Indie comics scene. With the likes of Tabella, Blank Slate, SelfMadeHero and Nobrow producing new and original OGN work, these are exciting times indeed to be a non-mainstream British comics fan… For more on Tabella check out their website which includes an online shop for all their titles.
Read the review on BrokenFrontier.com
Dreams and everyday life reviewed on 3 million years
“As a comics fan Scott McCloud’s book ‘Understanding Comics’ is a staple on my bookshelf. Taking some of the commentary in that book and putting that into a real world setting would be the best description of this book. “Made for the iPad, this graphic novel lives up to it’s title. Made up into three parts I never had an idea on what happens next! This graphic novel made me smile, sad and think all in one go. The are some excellent sequences here which add to the appeal – what I enjoyed the most was the randomness of the subject range! It reminds me of watch an Eddie Izzard show – which tangent are we on again!? “Although this is a perfect ‘pick up’ and ‘put down’ comic, it felt to me the type of comic which you pick up and read from cover to cover – and then later can pick it up and flick to any part to read and enjoy. “I enjoyed and hope you would too!
“Dreams & Everyday Life’ is available from Tabella Publishing for the iPad”
Dreams and everyday life reviewed by MouthLondon.com
Dreams and everyday life reviewed on Shelfabuse.com
Dreams and everyday life reviewed on Downthetubes.net
A big thank-you to John freeman for this great review of Dreams and everyday life, by Aviv Ratzin:
“The Review: Tabella, a small UK publisher, are fast building an eclectic but enjoyable list of graphic titles. Aviv Ratzin's intriguing insights on modern life, as his character evades real work and explores our strange modrrn world, is the latest, offering a marvellous, insightful take on relationships and the daily trials and tribulations of modern life.
Favourite elements must surely be Reuven, the hitcher who becomes a permanent resident in the protagonist's car; the vicious cacti that brook no usurper plants on his window sill; and the vampiric bats hanging from his apartment ceiling, devouring all income as fast as he makes it.
And if that isn't enough to intrigue you, then one final chapter - a savage commentary on how we are fast cocooning ourselves from reality in a bubble of social media personas and falsehood - is definitely worth a read.
Aviv Ratzin, professional animator, illustrator and guitarist, has conjured a delightful concoction of worldly observation here which, for just £7.99, is well worth checking out.”
Here’s the review: http://downthetubescomics.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-review-dreams-and-everyday-life.html
Dreams and everyday life previewed on Grovel
Thanks to Andy at Grovel for this little preview of Dreams and everyday life:
“PREVIEW: Dreams and Everyday Life is a short, philosophical, biographical graphic novel. It focuses on the moments in life that aren’t the big, life-changing happenings, but instead picks gentle fun at the little things. Aviv Ratzin is writing about himself but he sweeps away things like career and hobbies – the things that suck up most of his time – in the first few pages. Instead he focuses the book on the gaps inbetween, the everyday stuff that everyone does but often remain peculiar to the individual.
It’s a charming-looking book, with beautiful clear-line illustration that creates an easy flow through the narrative. Well worth a look if you like accessible, charming, thoughtful, slice-of-life comics.”
Here’s the link: http://www.grovel.org.uk/dreams-and-everyday-life/
Dreams and everyday life reviewed by thebookbag.co.uk
“Well, thank you, Aviv Ratzin - you've provided me with the one book I'm least capable of summarising for a review. I can't begin to pithily precis the plot, or describe the happenings in any quick, snappy way. To give the gist of the surreal, scattershot whimsicality cannot do the contents justice in any way.
There is a sort of theme of escape here, spread over three inter-connected chunks. The introductory pages are one- or two-page vignettes of the creator suffering writer's block, or a pretentious restaurant, or just housework, where he sometimes can leave the circus-styled rat-race for swimming deep in other, mental oceans, or out in space. These gradually take hold, and form two individual pieces - one a generally wordless comedy of violence starring a bullying thug not enjoying life in a happy comic world, and another of people living in ever-connected, virtual reality suits made of gloppy gel versions of that armour David Lynch had in his Dune film.
But recurring characters, including an amusing hitch-hiker, suggest the humdrum is never too easy to leave.
I can't say I liked this book until the full picture was formed for me by reading to the end. Comics fans will have seen the episodic format begun with far too regularly - perhaps there's a nod to this in having a cameo from a chap looking suspiciously like Harvey Pekar. The footnotes, if you will, of matchstick men playing out gags, were only intrusive. And while I liked the approach of having a bolder black ink for foreground and a lighter grey line for background, the style is still very singular.
It's a very rough and ready design, beyond straightforward framing and guttering, with a seemingly quick approach that still manages to give strong character to the people in these pages. Superimposed images, arrows for movement and more, all pepper the pictures with non-realistic elements. And there's never any reason given for Aviv drawing himself as a tall, fat man in an all-white suit, faceless and with a white stovepipe hat.
But like I say, you do need to stick to the last here. It seems too patchy, too individual, for possibly too long, but bear with it, and when the oddball look feeds into the surreal happenings and justify the unique logic behind both the style and the storytelling, the circle is closed, and this does prove to be a successful book.
It's not as funny a one as it assumes, and it's not for everyone, but this publisher, Tabella, have never been providers of excessively populist graphic books, just personal, uniquely spirited works of art, such as this, and I must thank them for my review copy.
I also enjoyed their offering Thomas Wogan is Dead by David Hughes.”
Here’s a link to the review.