Graphic Novel by PJ Patten
The Graphic Novel by PJ Patten
PJ's debut graphic novel Tower25 shares his story of homelessness, addiction, and mental health using minimalist imagery and poetic writing inspired by his Japanese grandparents own art practice of Haiga. With no panels or speech bubbles the book reads more like a personal journal.
What sets this book apart from similar ones is the spare, contemplative writing and striking visual style. This graphic novel has no panels and just one or two drawings per page, a format that conveys a sense of the protagonist being deeply alone with his thoughts and also the feeling of his being a tiny speck swimming in the vastness of the universe.
PJ Patten bends the rules of graphic novels to suit his purposes. Predominant black, white and grey images are washed with touches of green, blue and yellow. The drawings are kept faceless “with the hope that people would see themselves, someone they knew, or strangers on the street in these pages.”
With its beautiful yet stark imagery, Tower25 reads like a Punk Zen Scroll. As touching as it is insightful. As harrowing as it is hopeful. PJ has done more here than just relay his experiences. His observations of himself offer insight into how our behaviour patterbs can lead us again and again into adversity, and how society is all too often complicit in this, while giving us hope for ourselves in our own struggles - all told with the compassion of a Buddhist monk and the charm that comes with artwork done with real markers on real paper (*swoons*). I can think of quite a few people who need to read this book"
- Sabrina Symington graphic novelist and creator of Life of Bria and First Year Out