‘Here’ by Richard McGuire – A Room through Time

‘Here’ by Richard McGuire     A Graphic Novel   (2015) – 304 pages    Grade: B+

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The graphic novel ‘Here’ is the pictorial history of a room, or rather the physical space the room currently occupies, through time from 3,000,500,000 BCE (BC) until 22,175 CE (AD).

‘Here’ started out as a 6-page comic published in Raw magazine in 1989.

This graphic novel is famous for its use of multiple panels within the same picture to show different years in the room’s history.  For example, the following big picture shows a woman playing the piano in 1964, and within the big picture are insets of girls dancing in 1932, 2014, and 1993.  The clothes and furniture match the fashions for the years shown.

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Within the graphic novel, we go through all the fashions of the 1900s and 2000s  from rocking chairs to goldfish bowls to Twister.

The years represented extend way beyond the years of the current room in both directions.  Thus the room space was probably originally ocean, and that is represented through the pictures.  Other picture show dinosaurs roaming the area.  Then we move on to when native Americans inhabited the space, and then on to colonial times.  Another large house existed on this space during colonial times, but it burned down in 1783.  The following picture shows the fire as well as a little get-together of friends in 1983 where three people are laughing and one man is coughing.

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Not only do we see the history of this room space, we also see its future. Fashions are much different in 2213. At a later point in the future, the current room will no longer exist, and in the year 22,175, pretty birds and flowers will inhabit the space.

There are very few words in this book, so it is a very quick read of two hours or less.  It was time well spent giving a full sense of the changes that occur over time.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve heard of this, it sounds fascinating and fairly original. Thanks for the review.

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  2. Hi Max,
    It is a good concept for a graphic novel, the history of a room. It is also read and digested quickly, so one gets the idea with little effort.

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  3. I found the original six pager online here: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/105360385626

    Much less pretty, but interesting still.

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    • I like the old-time black-and-white cartoonish-ness of the original. Sometimes when they try to make something more lavish and in color, it loses some of its spirit.

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