31 March 2016

Review: The Elephant in the Room by Jack Bender

Review: I Am the Elephant in th Room by Jack BenderJack Bender is probably best known for his work on television shows, including Lost, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones. It is not as well known that he is also a painter, sometimes working in mixed media.

The Elephant in the Room is a collection of short stories in words and illustrations. The overriding theme is social commentary, and the pieces are told with humor and honesty. The artwork and graphics are gorgeous, and I have looked through and read this book several times already. I'm so impressed with how much Bender is able to say in just a few words accompanied by powerful images.

Copyright Jack BenderIn "Animal Logic," we get two-page snapshots into the human condition from different animals' perspectives. "Urban Acrobats" is a kind of love story plus a stark look at what happens when conformity is enforced. The highs and lows of a woman's life play out in "Wanda Woke Up" (see the scan for the opening spread of this story; click to enlarge), and "My Wife Was Killed by an Alligator" was inspired by a true event. The final story, "Who We Are," explores what we lose and gain in the journey to self-discovery and adulthood.

A good number of the bold, colorful paintings are clearly influenced by cubism, and all of them are modern. The Elephant in the Room is as much an art book as it is a collection of stories, and it's a book to keep and enjoy multiple times and in different ways. Look at the pictures, read the words, share a thought or two.

Highly recommended for pretty much everyone. Jack Bender is both a great storyteller and an accomplished artist. Buy The Elephant in the Room for yourself and for gifts and think about it as fruitful book club choice.

Note on the Scan: The scan is used here in the context of a review. All rights and copyrights remain with Jack Bender.

Published by Inkshares, April 2016
ISBN-13: 9781941758793
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


bermudaonion 3/31/16, 8:58 AM  

Oh my, I love books like that!

rhapsodyinbooks 3/31/16, 12:24 PM  

Looks like beautiful illustrations!

Vicki 4/2/16, 11:44 AM  

I love books like this, thanks for sharing this one, I'll look for a copy.

Daryl 4/4/16, 9:17 AM  

i am scratching my head because i loved/watched both Sopranos and Lost and a huge GoT fan I didnt know Bender ... while i am not a fan of illustrated books i can see why you like this one ..

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