Around the World – three remarkable journeys
a graphic novel by Matt Phelan
Last weekend I read a newspaper about a young woman who completed a solo circumnavigation in her sailboat. She turned sixteen on the voyage and claims to be the youngest person to complete this incredible challenge. (Interesting to note Guinness World Book of Records no longer tracks items like this so they don’t encourage kids to take too much risk.) In the article she said she learned many things on the journey – how to play the flute (the guitar was a challenge in choppy seas), about the world, her boat and a great deal about herself.
That got me thinking. For me that may be what is most intriguing part of embarking on a solo journey of any magnitude. I admire the courage, determination and perseverance of these choices. It makes me wonder about the stories of all who have attempted this challenge – why do they think to do it? How are they changed by the attempt or completion? What does it lead too?
Three Remarkable Journeys Around the World adds both answers and more questions to those wonderings from me. It starts with, “It all began, as many great adventures begin, with a story.” This sets the stage for the travels for the three adventurers featured in this book –Thomas Stevens, Joshua Slocum, and Nellie Bly. Thomas Stevens traveled in 1884 from San Francisco to Boston on a 50-inch bicycle. Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail solo around the world in 1895. Nellie Bly was a pioneer journalist who traveled around the world to beat the time record of Phileas Fogg in 1889. With his typical attention to detail, Matt Phelan captures their adventures in graphic form. It’s beautifully drawn and skillfully arranged to capture the spirit of each adventurer. The tales show how each person embarking on a journey of this magnitude also has an individual quest – an internal search. It is amazing how Matt Phelan’s art and story craft develops and shows changes to the inner lives of these people. Around the World weaves an exciting story of three historical characters whose bold endurance and stamina go beyond mere bravery. Their willingness to focus on tasks some thought were unattainable paved the way for others who dare to dream! What would your journey be? It doesn’t have to be for or grand to make an impact… hmmm
Check out this preview and then dive right in – adventure anyone?