The Science Fiction Book Club is preparing for a comic-filled summer! First on our list is Here by Richard McGuire. Have you ever heard the phrase “if these walls could talk”? The concept of Here is just that, but a little less anthropomorphic. Here places you, the reader, in one spot throughout time to witness the myriad of things that occurred (and will occur) there. Each set of pages may take you to one time or many with McGuire’s unique approach to the basic mechanics of what makes a comic. Don’t let this scare you away if you’re not a “comics person!” There’s not one way to read this book, as suggested by this Wired article (maybe avoid reading it if you really want to jump into the book with no expectations).
The Here that we’re reading started in 1989 in the renowned comics magazine, RAW, edited by Maus author Art Spiegelman and his wife, New Yorker art editor, Françoise Mouly. In RAW, it was a 6 page comic strip that totally rocked the comics world and made an immediate impression on many like Chris Ware. Ten years later, McGuire signed a contract for an expanded version but struggled to figure out how to do it. Various other projects took his time and attention away, and another ten years later a fellowship at the New York Public Library gave him the chance to work on it. This Publishers Weekly interview will give you more information about the book’s history.
This expanded edition of Here was received with great success. It was one of the New York Times’ Notable Books of 2015 and made it on the 2014 Editors’ Choice: Adult Books list on Booklist. It also received starred reviews in Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.
You can find Here at your local public library or through interlibrary loan. If you’re feeling daring, you can buy the e-book for a completely different experience (select the e-book option to see the various retailers).
We look forward to chatting with you about Here on Thursday, June 13th at 12pm in Library 314.