- By Cathy Malkasian


  • Title: Temperance
  • Author: Cathy Malkasian
  • ISBN: 9781606993231
  • Page: 382
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Temperance Do ideas of war and enemies hold a people together Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible These are the questions Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic novel Temperanc

    Do ideas of war and enemies hold a people together Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible These are the questions Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic novel, Temperance Malkasian creates, as she did in the critically acclaimed Percy Gloom, a fully realized, multi layered world, inhabited by vividly realized characters After a brutal injDo ideas of war and enemies hold a people together Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible These are the questions Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic novel, Temperance Malkasian creates, as she did in the critically acclaimed Percy Gloom, a fully realized, multi layered world, inhabited by vividly realized characters After a brutal injury in battle, Lester has no memory of his prior life For the next thirty years his wife does everything to keep him from remembering and re constructing a society, Blessedbowl, that elevates him as a hero Blessedbowl is a cultural convergence of lies, memories, stories, and beliefs Its people thrive on ideas of persecution, exceptionality, and enemies, convinced that war lurks just outside their walls They have come to depend on Lester, their greatest war hero, to lead the charge once the Final Battle begins What kind of enemy could topple such a people and its walls Mere memory, it seems, as Lester gradually emerges from his amnesia Temperance is an eyewitness s account of recovery and awakening The graphic novel works on two levels It considers the concepts of violence, stories, and belief, and their place in holding a culture together, slyly echoing contemporary political issues in a nation at a stressful time currently at war with a ubiquitous enemy Secondly, the fissures in Lester and Minerva s marriage is echoed in the greater political upheaval around them Malkasian creates a densely textured social context, masterfully conveying the idiosyncratic physical domain with its spiraling structures and quasi medieval architecture along with intimate yet plastic portraits of her characters in a rich, tonal pencil line Temperance is a galvanizing work of empathy and violence by one of today s the most thoughtful and accomplished cartoonists.

    1 thought on “Temperance

    1. Temperance by Cathy Malkasian is a quirky graphic novel that explores the relationship between the concepts of war and security, and freedom and trust. The narrator is a tree, which has been fashioned into a wooden leg, and then later into a doll/child. The narrator tells the story of Pa, who is this mythical concept that infects people's minds. The people, spurred by the lies of his foster daughter, live enclosed into a fortress they call BlessedBowl. It's a ship on a sea of fire, but really it [...]

    2. There's a lot about this comix book that grosses me out. The way Malkasian draws human beings disgusts me. The way she overextends and mixes her metaphors makes me say, "Hmm hmm hmm hmm." There's something Canadian and New Age about all this. However, the book does achieve a psychosexual creepiness that's Lynchian in intensity, if you're into that sort of thing. Malkasian has perfect control of her pencil, and her drawings are v. easy on the eyes if you skip the humans and look only at buildings [...]

    3. What a weird and oddly beautiful book! This is one of those odd, absorbing books that leaves one a little confused. It feels somewhat allegorical, but perhaps it's more fable-like? There's a certain dream logic that leaves the reader grasping a bit, trying to determine what exactly has happened.The basic plot is that a powerful tyrant known only as Pa convinces a large number of people that The Enemy is coming for them. In fear for their lives, several thousand people have sealed themselves into [...]

    4. It started out intriguing, with the two girls hiding in the woods from a scary man who claims to be their father, then a whole group of people being walled into a stone ship. However, as it got further and further from a reality that started the book, it was hard to stay with it. I guess there was some sort of life metaphor with the ghostly girl and the "father" who was everywhere, destroying everything? I didn't really get it. The art was very nice, though. And I did like the idea of a town ins [...]

    5. I did not "like" this book -- as the star tags read. It was powerful, creepy, and thought -provoking instead. Was Pa god? Was Pa Everyman? It was a hard book to finish, but I know it will stay with me a long time.

    6. Though its message can be a little on-the-nose, Temperance is a quirky and thoughtful comic with some impressive pencilling. Were it more subtle, it might have earned four or even five stars.

    7. Temperance, a great graphic novel written and drawn by Cathy Malkasian delivers a sense of weirdness and surrealism to the readers through her unique style of drawing and the bizarre storyline. I had to go through the story a couple times to understand what was going on in this nameless world filled with lies and rumors. In the story, a cunning dictator called- Pa established his empire step by step with his “step-daughters”.  They went towns after towns to spread the rumor that their “e [...]

    8. Temperance has a very nice organic illustration. Simple yet hypnotizing. I'm amazed on how detail the diegesis is structured in Temperance. Malkasian has not just be specified in developing a very well structured organisms in her beautiful comic, concurrently the architecture of the whole story and its creation is made important to each other. The idea of 'illusion' as a tool for unity in Temperance might be cliché across our reading experiences, or films watching (I might say, in certain sense [...]

    9. This is one of my favorite books this year. This is a profound graphic novel with multiple layers of meaning, interesting characters, and beautiful illustrations. Temperance does examine issues related to war, and what a culture of conflict does to its people, but I feel that those statements reduce a powerful and complex story with strong characters to just a few themes. So, here is a little bit about some of the characters you will meet here: Minerva, an unattractive princess who climbs a tall [...]

    10. This is a powerful book. This book has immensely powerful words an imagery. The meaning behind this book can be interpreted so many ways. The art is raw and beautiful, it's breathtaking reallyTo me it's a story about the struggles between believing or not believing in the stories of the past that you're told. Whether you believe in something that is not actually tangible. Believing in a higher power or believing that someone is there to protect you and has control and that makes you feel safe. I [...]

    11. While I understand many of the criticisms others have posted, Temperance takes on a mythic tone from the beginning. Though Malkasian frames the story as a confluence of characters, place, and machinations, it becomes clearly a poetic yarn, a tale not of persons but of people. She describes, both visually and narratively, archetypes to which we yearn and from which we cower. Once I began reading I did not have any interest in putting the story down. He artwork varies from fluid and enchanting to [...]

    12. This Graphic Novel by Cathy Malkasian is a surreal exploration of war, conflict, and freedom. The novel is beautifully illustrated, the final image of the book is one that is especially powerful (won't say what it is for spoilers.) However the book hits some problems midway through. The flow becomes extremely difficult to follow, and though this may have been done on purpose by the author, it also detracted from my ability to understand anything. I was lost between what was real, and what was no [...]

    13. The description of the book sounds much better than the execution.This is a so-so story with epic amounts of filler drawing that does almost nothing to move the plot forward. The characters are flat as written, and in their actual drawing (caricatures instead of portraits). In fact, I found myself put off by the drawings in many ways, especially where several of the panels key to the plot are confused and very badly composed. On the whole this book strikes me as an example of overreach, an idea [...]

    14. I just finished Temperance, about five minutes ago, and I'm not totally sure what to say. It was certainly a beautiful book--drawn in a quirky, charming style--and for parts of the story I was utterly drawn in. Other parts, though, felt rushed, as though the artwork rather than the writing had been the only priority. The ending threw me off, as I didn't see it coming for at least a few dozen more pages. I guess I wish it had gone on a bit longer, and we had learned more about the resolution. How [...]

    15. Conflicted feelings on this one - is it an allegory or a fantasy/horror? It certainly raises important questions about what holds communities together, the existence of good vs evil, how people need to believe in somethingbut I'm not sure it answered its own questions adequately. Sure, you don't need to answer the Big Questions out there, but the ending tried to tie up some of those ideas, and I didn't buy its conclusions. On the whole, unsettling in the good way of making you think and feel unc [...]

    16. Malkasian has an energetic line and a sense of design that pulls your eye along the story. It is easy to read this book, like Percy Gloom, as an animation storyboard. In these technical regards, I think Malkasian does superlative work. Temperance, however, doesn't cohere for me as well as Percy Gloom did. Temperance is a more ambitious narrative than Percy Gloom, but it didn't hold up as well for me as the earlier book. And I feel churlish for being disappointed by a book that tried to outdo its [...]

    17. Mantiene el ambiente poético y extraño de Percy Bloom, pero me ha gustado menos. El dibujo es más suelto pero con el sello personal de la autora.

    18. Disquieting and at times beautiful, it's hard to nail this down. It's about destruction and rebirth, and how lies can destroy or instill hope, how one can dominate and control out of love or hate. It's about revenge and redemption.Pa is a terrifying and incredible character who is going to lure me back for a couple re-readings.

    19. I don't think I understood this book. Peggy and Pa seemed to be concepts rather than people, and a tree/piece of wood is a character who narrates the story. So, you know, chew on that one for a while!content notes for violence and abuse towards humans and animals; fat phobia/hatred; and someone taking away a person's prostethic leg without their knowledge or consent.

    20. Very enjoyable. The soft pencil-like art was a refreshing change from the many bold/stark blacks in many comics/graphic novels. The characters were compelling and the story was good. It did get a little crazy at the end and I couldn't figure out exactly what was happening, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    21. Pelik. Sangat-sangat pelik dan confusing sampai kadang-kadang aku rasa jalan ceritanya merepek dan meleret. Barangkali aku susah nak faham maksud tersirat tapi entahlah-- the story itself, memang dari awal dah mula dengan konflik yang tak masuk akal. Aku, mungkin termasuk dalam golongan sesetengah pembaca yang wonder macam mana buku ini boleh published.

    22. While I got lost in the middle of the story, I could see some interesting themes at the beginning. I enjoyed the beginning, but I feel like I will need to reread it and reflect more to better understand the end.

    23. "Because the character is crazy and [usually] he can" are no longer enough to keep me reading books where there is lots of cruelty and violence. I know that not every book can be sunshine and rainbows but meh.

    24. Really interesting little fable about community and what holds it together. Metaphorical, whimsical, stylistic, and generally well-made. Almost a children's story (the way any mythology is almost for children).

    25. I somewhat understand why this is getting good press, but it was _not_ a work I enjoyed. The artwork was fairly repetitive, and I couldn't bring myself to care about the plot or any of the characters. Frankly, I'm a little surprised Fantagraphics published this.

    26. I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Even though I do not understand the ending (someone help?), the theme of white lies really stuck out to me. Sometimes lies are necessary to prevent causing pain to someone and oftentimes those lies hurt us more than ever would have imagined.

    27. Temperance begins and ends strong and creates a mythos that spans the human experience with zen-like quality. Images from this novel will burn your memory for some time. I cannot recommend this work enough for students who possess a strange temperament.

    28. Like her award winning Percy Gloom, this one has haunting pictures and an "absurdist" plot, but unlike the other book, this one never engaged me. Maybe a one star rating is a little harsh, but yeah, "I didn't like it."

    29. I thought this book was thought provoking. When I thought I figured out what the plot was about, I changed my mind. I read this book as the antagonist as a pedofile. I can also see the war versus security thoughts.

    30. while i enjoyed Temperance, i wasn't quite as entranced by it as i was by Percy Gloom, despite it's wider scope. what i enjoy most about Malkasian is her ability to transport you to her created world, no matter how odd it may seem.

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