The Arrival (Graphic Novel) Background

The Arrival (Graphic Novel) Background

A graphic novel comprised only of pictures (and no words), Shaun Tan's The Arrival (2006) tells the story of an immigrant who lives in an imaginary world that is strikingly similar to our own. One day, he leaves his family and goes to a distant land to create a better life for his family. Mainly, though, The Arrival shows how incredibly lonely and difficult the life of an immigrant is.

Marjane Satrapi, who authored another one of the most famous graphic novels of the 2000's, called The Arrival "An Absolute Wonder." Jeff Smith, author of the Bone series, also loved the graphic novel, writing that this is "A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." Some reviewers, however, did not think Tan conveyed enough with the images and thought it should have included words -- even only a few of them used rather sparingly. The Arrival was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Book and the Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for Best Comic Book.

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