Friday, February 28, 2020

Bix by Scott Chantler - OPTIONAL

Bix by Scott Chantler, 252 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL, NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY. Gallery 13, 2020. $30.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG



From a young age, Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke was entranced by music -- especially jazz music -- but his father didn’t approve the pursuit of that dream. Bix was sent to school and work, encouraged to give up music. But he would not let go that easily, for Bix was meant to play.

Chantler uses a lot of clever storytelling, opting to tell the story nearly entirely through illustrations (about 90 percent pictures and 10 percent words). This structure makes the life of Bix a quick read, though not an easy one with the ups and downs of emotion. Throughout the triumphs and disappointments, the illustration-versus-word set up made me feel like I could actually hear music in the background. Despite the tragedy of how Bix’s life concludes, I found that the ending was the most beautiful part. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and partial nudity.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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