Book of Hours: A Wordless Novel Told in 99 Wood Engravings

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The Porcupine's Quill, May 14, 2014 - Comics & Graphic Novels - 192 pages

The Book of Hours draws us back through time and into the intimate routines of daily life in the hours before the onslaught of 9/11. Here Walker expresses through images what is too horrific for words, and although the inhabitants of the Book of Hours can’t imagine the tragedy about to befall them, the reader must dread the slow, uneven countdown that weaves between the pages.


The Book of Hours juxtaposes the normalcy of telephones, cubicles and sex with the catastrophic consequences of 9/11, and Walker reveals the individual lives and stories affected by and hidden beneath global politics. Through a careful, reverential representation of all the minor tasks that make up a day, the Book of Hours pays homage to the small rituals that grant our lives some stability and meaning in the midst of horrific, incomprehensible events.


This is not only a remembrance of innocence lost but also a recollection of the historical activism and art genres that had such an important influence on today’s graphic novel. Walker contributes to the great woodcut tradition established by the likes of Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward and Otto Nückel, and shows the endless need to expose and question social injustice through art and narrative.

 

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About the author (2014)

George A. Walker (Canadian, b. 1960) is an award-winning wood engraver, book artist, teacher, author, and illustrator who has been creating artwork and books and publishing at his private press since 1984. Walker’s popular courses in book arts and printmaking at OCAD University in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor, have been running continuously since 1985. For over twenty years Walker has exhibited his wood engravings and limited edition books internationally, often in conjunction with The Loving Society of Letterpress (and The Binders of Infinite Love) and the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). Among many book projects Walker has illustrated two hand-printed books written by internationally-acclaimed author Neil Gaiman. Walker is also the illustrator of the first Canadian editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass books (Cheshire Cat Press). George A. Walker was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art for his contribution to the cultural area of Book Arts.

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