Sleeping Beauty

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Sleeping Beauty Creator(s): John Cei Douglas
Publishers: Self Published
From: England
Price: £ 2.5

Two ex lovers almost meet again while they both happen to be thinking about their time together. They are both trying to get on with their lives, but don't seem to have really come to terms with the end of the affair.

An interesting thread to this book is music - the couple met at a concert, and there is a certain lyricism to the writing. The characters live in isolated moments of contemplation: strolling in the park, sitting on a bus. Phrases, most likely from songs, get stuck in their heads. They talk and sing to themselves.

John's artwork is full of fluid lines which look to be done with a brush. The faces are made up of thin lines and are very basic in structure. Light grey is used effectively to portray reflections and areas of shadow. The design of the book looks great, with a striking cover and effective use of floating panels on some of the interior pages.

The book could be accused of being quite sappy. The cynics out there will probably want to slap the characters about and tell them to snap out of it. But don't right it off. The book is done in such a touching way that only people with no hearts could really begrudge John for focusing on such a romantic topic. The cute name calling and fascination in watching a lover sleep are affecting.

The plot is structures as a series of flashbacks which switch between the two ex-lovers. It means it is a bit hard to keep up with who is remembering what, but this just emphasising how much they are still in the relation even after a time apart. This is a sweet tale told well with some interesting visuals. It stood out in my recent reading as the one I wanted to read again.

In a Word: Lovelorn.

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