Matthias Schultheiss. Die Reise mit Bill.
ISBN 13: 978-3-940864-05-5
Sample Text: from the first several pages: a dialogue between the father, Luke and his daughter, Tweety:
-Ich habe Hunger.
-Du sollst doch schlafen.
-Ich habe aber Hunger, und Wauwi auch.
-Okay. Was willst du essen?
-Ich weiß nicht.
-Und Apfeltasche und Cola und Pommes?
-Okay. Wir halten beim nächsten Diner.
Leise dudelt Musik aus der Küche, Geschirr klappert, ab und zu gleiten die Scheinwerfer vorbeifahrender Autos über den Highway. Sie essen schweigend. Lukes Gedanken sind irgendwo und Tweety ist noch in ihren Träumen gefangen.
The jacket text of Die Reise mit Bill describes the book as a “hypnotischer Roadmovie-Traum in den weiten Nordamerikas,” which perfectly describes the presentation, feel, and atmosphere of this graphic novel.
The synopsis continues: “On their seemingly aimless trip Luke and his daughter Tweety encounter the veteran Bill, who lost his legs in a helicopter crash. Since that incident, he is obsessed with being able to walk again with the help of a shaman. Luke and Tweety do everything in their power to try to make Bill’s wish come true.
Their odyssey leads the three to the most remote of locations: an abandoned luxury hotel full of secrets, a cabin occupied by a bizarre swamp man, and into the wastelands of Alaska. Their search manifests itself as a hymn for the power of friendship and the beauty of life.”
With Die Reise mit Bill, Schultheiss has created a fantastically adventurous story, whose beauty is supported as much by the storyline itself as by the wonderfully atmospheric artwork. The artistic presentation varies from full page renditions of scenery and imagination (pages that one could imagine blown up on canvas and hanging in a gallery: Figure 1 below) to pages consisting of thin horizontal frames that mimic the sequential frames of a movie (Figure 2 below).
The story navigates fantasy and reality, but the pictures help Schultheiss to reinforce the fantastic elements of his story, making pure fantasy more believable with his visual rendition.