It’s been more than a year since his death and a lot has been written about David Bowie, but we haven’t seen anything quite like this graphic dramatised documentary. Haddon Hall tells the story of Bowie’s transition from struggling artist to international megastar; narrated, rather unusually, by the house he lived in at the time.
The flow of the book is jagged and unusual, more like a recollection of key moments in time than a flowing narrative. It reads as if we’re looking down on short moments in Bowie’s life, then taking a long blink and finding months have passed since we last opened our eyes.
Néjib’s illustrative style is similarly sketchy, using simple lines and spot colours to capture Bowie and his world. It’s well executed, though, with colours changing through the book if not on every page and the end result is dynamic and dramatic.
What the book gets across well is that Bowie and his songs didn’t materialise out of nowhere, but were the result of his environment, the people around him and a significant amount of hard graft. This was coupled with an intense belief that what he was doing was right, despite what critics, money-men and even the record-buying public were saying. As it turned out, he was right.
This is one for the Bowie fan, then, though anyone with the vaguest interest in the man will get a kick out of seeing this dramatised history bring a young Bowie back to life.