The Arrival by Shaun Tan
This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. It’s already starting to win awards in Australia and it’s not hard to see why. It’s the wordless story of an immigrant’s journey, his experiences, the people he meets, and the stories they share. Really, I suppose that’s it, but it’s so much more when you see it.
Shaun Tan’s illustrations are breathtaking. Seriously, it made me cry, that’s how gorgeous they are. There are some that are more the typical size of panels in a graphic novel, others are smaller, and some are two-page spreads. Here are a few examples, just so you can see:
The two-page spreads are obviously the most impressive ones, but even the simple things are drawn beautifully.
The other impressive thing about this book is the care that was obviously put into the design of it. The cover looks like an old photo album that you would find in an old trunk tucked away in the corner of an attic somewhere. Some of the pages have creases or water spots drawn onto them which all mesh seamlessly with Tan’s sepia drawings.
It’s just absolutely gorgeous.