Tan, Shaun – The Arrival

What rating would you give?
[Total: 4    Average: 5/5]


Sorry, we don’t have this book in the library yet!

8 thoughts on “Tan, Shaun – The Arrival

  1. Profile photo of NobelNobel

    this book is very fun. it is basically talking about a man which is leaving his home, and he is going to a new place in a very big ship, and he arrived at a strange place, which all the things is pretty the same as before but in different looking. he later survived in that place.

  2. Profile photo of Julia ChuJulia Chu

    This book is drawn in a very dramatic way, the character and some of the background is very realistic, however some of the “Place” it seems different. In this story, the man is leaving the place that he always leave, he first had the inspect of his body and thought, after that he got in the new place, which have lots of interesting animals.
    Summary: Unknown living things, the giants, the dragons were invaded the world, they all appeared in this world, and some of them tried to take control of the humans. The humans travel to another place, which is a magical place. Before they migrate there, they need to have a body examine. The main character in the story, which is a man about 30-40 years old, he left the family and went to that land, at the first, he couldn’t understand what is happening in that world, the language are different, the animals are different, the moneys are different. After a few days, he started to find his new job, but he failed many times, at last, he finally found a job. As the time increase, he started to love in this land, also he tried to let his family came to this land either. Time passed, the family of the man all arrived in this land, they are so happy. They loved in this land, and started a new life.
    In this graphic novel, the panel starts from the left to right also up to down.
    There were many kind of transition in this comic,
    – Time passed, we could see from the picture of the clouds, we could also see from the born and death of the plants.
    – Only a few second, focus on the movement: There is a lots of this kind of transition in this graphic novel, which is only a few seconds between each panel and want to clearly show the reader what is the character doing.
    – About a movement to another movement, there is a lot of transition also in this graphic novels, this kind of transition is mainly focusing on what is going on.
    The amounts of details in this graphic novel are quiet lot, it is because many of the place the panels are telling us the different movement, but I think this is useful, it is because there is no speaking bubbles in this graphic novels, therefore I think if you have more details, the reader will be easier to understand what is going on.
    Colors & How it is been drawn:
    Even though the color in this graphic novels are brawn & black & white, and drawn in a realistic + magical way, however, it is different either yummy/ American born Chinese. Yummy is been drawn in a really realistic, dark sorrowful way, American born in Chinese is drawn in a very cartoon way. And “The arrival” , the picture is drawn in a realistic way, but the background is half of realistic and half of cartoon.

  3. Profile photo of KaylaLanCaoKaylaLanCao

    Wordless. Yet containing words.

    This graphic novel is about a man who leaves home to find opportunities and build a better future for his family. The author Shaun Tan speaks through visual narration to help demonstrate the power of fantasy, to show us our reality. Shaun Tan echoes universal aspects of an immigrant’s experience through imagination and fantasy.

    Some readers can be picky: they want to have books in sections, in chapters, and they want to have page numbers on every page, just to make things clear and easy to follow. But this graphic novel has none of those indications. When one reads The Arrival, one does not need to know where he or she is. It is a book with wonder and insanity, and as readers, we have the freedom to travel in and out of that fantastic yet foreign land.
    From the antiquated look to the lonely picture in the middle, the cover of The Arrival is perfect. The cover is a visual summary of what the entire story is about. The man with his suitcase, and the beautiful unknown. He packed up his entire life in that suitcase when he arrived in this strange land. The cover is a metaphor. Sometimes, it is okay to judge a book by its cover.

    The very first thing the novel shows when flipped open is a clustered image of all these different people; their faces clash into each other with such differences and familiar similarities. They are people who are from different parts of the globe. No matter who the reader is, where the reader is from, the reader’s similar memories of their hometowns, their wonders and struggles would revive, and parade through the reader’s head. The title page of this book is one of the many amazing but hidden details. Previously mentioned, this graphic novel is called The Arrival written by Shaun Tan, but the title page tells something different. The chosen font is alien and foreign, unrecognizable. This mysterious text immediately shows that this book is not about misunderstanding, but about understanding.

    This is one of those rare-item books that feel full and complete without conventional conflict and conflict resolution. However, The Arrival does more than that. The entire book does not contain any worded narration or dialogue. Using only pictures, it powerfully and easily captures time. All these series of pictures also present relationships between people and their unexposed dialogues. Even flashbacks and memories of all the characters of the story. Every panel of the book is so important, because there are not written texts or any descriptions. The only “language” used in this book is a made up foreign language of symbols that cannot be translated. Being a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant who does not know a single word of that strange new land, the protagonist does not understand anything, so everything comes in symbols. To that mysterious world, the man is deaf. And that world to him is deaf. The silence of this book also helps the readers to experience this nervous feeling of not understanding.

    The Arrival is printed in a colored theme. It even utilizes the medium of color to help to get this story across. So through tones of gold, bronze and blacks, the author portrays this magical world with progression. The author conveys not just movement but the moment.

    I find it very hard to talk about this book, to translate my feelings into words. You must read to understand.

    Wordless. Yet containing words.

  4. Profile photo of Dari TemutsilekhuDari Temutsilekhu

    “The Arrival” Review
    By Dari Temutsilekhu
    The Arrival: a short, beautiful, touching, and universal graphic novel by Shaun Tan. The novel takes a reader through a wordless journey of an immigrant, leaving behind his beloved family and homeland to board a steamship, to cross an endless ocean, to cross the endless cultural and language barriers, to begin the most difficult and important voyage of his life; in order to provide his family with a better future. On his journey he meets strange creatures, learns new customs, adjusts to an alien world, and meets the kind people whom help him get through the tough journey on a new land. Through beautiful images, a touching story, and continuous use of symbolism, Shaun Tan tells a wordless story of an immigrant coming to the new world through the theme of loss and adjustment.
    The artwork is presented in sepia tones, also using shading and depth to create photograph like panels, resulting in the perception of opening an old photo-album to see a story told from a long time ago. Each panel is extremely detailed and brings attention to the details of the setting, the characters, and the plot-line. From the beginning, Shaun Tan uses intricate images to tell a story, a panel of a family portrait, a panel of a trunk, a panel of the clock ticking by…this is simply the first page of the story, where the author introduces the setting of the main character’s hometown, through the usage of black and white tones, and a feeling of sadness looming over the home. Through the art we can see the main character’s love towards his family and the desolate mood set over them. From the details we notice important details crucial to the plot: the family’s poverty in the cracked walls, from the warm embrace we can see the love and unity of the family, through the small details such as the dark spiky spirals in his homeland resembling a malevolent force looming over them. Shaun Tan uses specific details or items to focus on them to accentuate the importance, set a mood, characterization, and highlight the theme.
    With the absence of dialogue, Shaun Tan alienates the readers from the setting, making it an entirely futuristic and magical setting with unseen aspects, alienating the readers from the strange creatures shown in the book, and the elements of the foreign land which the main characters comes to live at, and the symbols used, to describe the writings the man sees. With this, Shaun Tan is able to specifically create a feeling in the reader’s heart of something truly foreign and different from one’s homeland, and at the same time creates the sympathy by contrasting the main character’s homeland and destination, allowing the readers to see the story through the main character’s eyes.
    The beautifully shown story of an immigrant moves any one at any age, where the core of the story is in essence for children, the theme of loss and adjustment is relatable to adults. The novel, beautifully designed, creates an emotional connection to the book on a personal level no matter one’s experiences.
    This graphic novel can be considered literature, as it includes a theme, plotline, main character etc. It creates a lasting impact on the readers, hindering their understanding of the life of an immigrant. Although without dialogue, the graphic novel is able to convey a story with a plot, a theme, and developed characters, making the graphic novel a beautiful piece of literature.

  5. Profile photo of FinnHolmesFinnHolmes

    ပို … ဂရပ်ဖစ်တ္ထုထက်တစ်ကွက်ကိုတူ
    The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel that tells its story through Shaun Tans realistic art style. The Arrival is a story about immigration, it is about a man leaving his family and home to find work to support his family in another country. It conveys messages of alienation, solitude and hope in foreign land.
    This graphic novel is a visual masterpiece, without any words it tells its story nearly perfectly with concise and detailed drawings. All panels are filled with a sepia-toned colour schemes, from grayscale to bright gold. Making the illustrations, look very old. In the title page, Shaun Tan wrote his name and the book title in an alien like language, giving the audience a time to think about what this really means. The Protagonist of this graphic novel is a man trying to find a job in a different country, and as he discovers new things about this world he has never been through, you see him becoming more comfortable with this new environment. The setting of the world is very steam punk like, with buildings, foods, languages and animals that look nothing like on Earth. Shaun Tan has also added allusions into The Arrival, there was a panel of a boy holding up a sign, this illustration in the graphic novel is an exact copy of a real picture taken in the 1907 of a boy who held up a sign saying “Titanic has Sank.” Which helped tell the story and making it more realistic for the audience.
    The graphic novel starts with images of people’s faces, each panel having 5 tiers of illustrations. Shaun tan effectively tells the readers that all these people come from different countries by drawing different clothing and facial expressions, but also telling us that they have familiarities. Shaun tan knows how to use his panels and camera angles effectively. He would use splashes and wide camera angles to make the protagonist look like he’s lost in this new world he is in. Giving the readers a feeling of being lost, what further enhances the feeling of not knowing anything for the audience is that Shaun Tan decided to not put any dialogue in The Arrival. The readers then become the protagonist, making even the smallest details in every frame convey a message, for the readers to understand how to survive in this “unknown” world.
    For me there were no flaws in The Arrival every single frame was a visual masterpiece, and it told its story very well without using any dialogue of sorts. Shaun Tan is also very clever in dragging the readers into the protagonist’s body, by using clever alien like language and out of the world looking animals and foods.
    This graphic novel is more suited to people who learn through imagery then listening. People who concentrate better in listening, might find it difficult to understand what Shaun Tan is trying to tell the audience, because every single frame of The Arrival is important in the telling of the story. The Arrival is definitely a work of literature, told in a very artistic form, about a man’s immigrating life and how everyone in the world is connected in way, with different and similar traits.
    Go read The Arrival! It is a masterpiece of a graphic novel, but don’t treat this as a graphic novel, look at it as a very detailed story board for a film.

  6. Profile photo of GordoGordo

    તમે સમજી શકાય કરવા માંગો છો, તો
    …સાંભળવા માટે

    For a lot of people, it might as well be alien. Such is the case for The Arrival. Written by Shaun Tan, this novel tells a story of a father immigrating to a new city to earn more for his family, while trying to adapt to this new environment. During his stay there, he discovers more about this new culture as well as some backstories on the people that he meets along the way. Shaun Tan places the audience in the perspective of the father, giving the readers a heightened sense of alienation through the exaggerated imagery of the city and its alien-like language. This novel, despite wordless, expresses loss, nostalgia, family, and isolation through so many levels using only images, and its theme of solitude could be relatable to people all around the world regardless of their language and religion.
    The story is almost purely driven by stunning visual narration, and the lack of words was used to help the readers easily comprehend this story. The visual design of this city brings the readers to a near-fantastical experience, using major elements from steampunk art. There would be literal flying ships in the skies and out-of-the-world creatures. Despite the mythical setting, there are several visual allusions to the real world, for example, there is a direct visual homage to the Titanic, adding to the believability to this fantastical world. Shaun Tan also applies a sepia type color scheme for the city, bringing an effect that makes the panels look like old faded photographs which help set the tone, for each panel is like a photograph to the past. One aspect of this graphic novel that shows Shaun Tan’s true visual mastery is his perspective. The panels are usually framed from mid to long shots with stark contrast, showing the character amidst a larger crowd of people, using shallow depth, blurring out people in the background and foreground. Tan here utilizes subtle framing patterns to steady the pacing, he uses constant transitions through panels to show what he is doing, and by the end of the page, the camera zooms back by representing his actions in a splash. The next page is also followed by a splash page to show an establishing shot, revealing the overwhelming size of the city. All in all, Shaun Tan uses such artistic techniques to basically place the readers directly in the father’s perspective through an exaggerated narration of his situation.
    So far this is no doubt an impeccable masterpiece by Shaun Tan; however, if I were to nitpick this graphic novel, the largest issue is the plot. The problem doesn’t lie at the specific plot points but at times the visual elements are so overwhelming that it is easy to lose track of the plotline, and sometimes the plot moves without much motivation. Usually, images are used to help enhance a reading experience, but here it is the other way around; the plot sometimes goes where it needs to be in order to express certain visual ideas.
    However illiterate, this whole graphic novel is relatable on the highest level. It communicates the ideas of isolation, solitude, alienation, and longing, all without a single word on the page. This a book that can stand the test of time and it is one of the few works that can communicate to people regardless of their linguistic abilities or origins.
    Graphic novels basically incorporate images to help add onto the story, but they don’t take away the meaning of literature, which is to convey a story with themes, characters, and conflicts through the use of language. However, this book doesn’t use language at all, and instead only applies images. This is an artwork that borders very close to being a work of literature because this does have the structure of a literary work. Nevertheless, this doesn’t apply to all graphic novels, and both this and other graphic novels can convey meaningful stories to their readers, ultimately serving the same purpose as literature.

  7. Profile photo of Patricia MoltzenPatricia Moltzen

    Once, in a dark room, I left The Arrival open on a spread filled with beauty and light. As I looked back at the book, I confess that I half-expected to see it glowing in the dark. The Arrival is a beautiful wordless graphic novel illustrated by Australian artist Shaun Tan. It is about the immigrant experience and told from the perspective of a father, who travels to a fantastical new land to seek out a better life for his family. It is a story of exploration, isolation, and perseverance.

    Fantastical shapes and figures dominate the story in grayscale and sepia, giving it the warm feeling of distant dreams and memories. Creatures that are both bright and beautiful or dark and menacing further enhance the feeling. There is very sharp contrast between the protagonist’s homeland and the new place, with the homeland dominated by empty streets and serpentine shadows, while the new place is a bustling city alive with people, and other beings, from all walks of life.

    The book makes good use of spreads and smaller panels, using the former to either introduce or end a scene and the latter to break it into smaller movements. Generally, the smaller the sequence of panels, the less time passes between transitions. Sometimes, the focus shifts from the protagonist to an aspect of the environment, probably to help familiarize the reader with the new land. It is never anything threatening, further highlighting the difference between the homeland and the new one.

    There are a lot of little details in the book. One example is how the gutter changes colour for every immigrant’s story the protagonist hears, which subtly adjusts the mood, despite the colour scheme remaining the same. Another one is how you can tell which time of year it is from looking at the trees, which is identifiable due to two pages later on in the story that shows a tree, not like anything on Earth, changing appearance in different seasons. The word ‘勇’, meaning brave, also subtly crops up a few times. The camera follows the general environment of the protagonist, but not always from a third-person point of view. Sometimes, we see the protagonist from another character’s perspective. When this happens, the character can only be deduced from the situation and body language of the protagonist, yet is still identifiable.

    It is a book for everyone, regardless of age, language level, or past experience. Little kids and adults alike would enjoy the stunning pictures and the straightforward plot. Whether the reader has been an immigrant before or not is irrelevant to whether they can relate to the story, because everyone is discovering this new world right alongside the protagonist. While no doubt a masterpiece, I would not consider this book to be literature, as by my definition, literature needs to contain a story substantially driven by words. That is not to say I do not consider this story worthy of being called literature, rather, I am saying that the style is so unique it deserves to be in a class of its own.

  8. Profile photo of Flora TianFlora Tian

    The Arrival Graphic Novel Review
    by Flora Tian

    Imagine yourself amidst a world of unconventional customs, indecipherable symbols and mythical creatures that leaves you nothing but feelings of isolation and alienation, will you be able to find your way to seek the life you desired?

    The Arrival is a phenomenal wordless graphic novel illustrated by Shaun Tan that portrays the experience of a father immigrant embarking on a journey from an impoverished town to seek better prospects for his family in a foreign land across vast seas. The protagonist finds himself a perplexing city amid of foreign customs, queer symbols, indecipherable language, where he encounters fantastical creatures and learns of the stories behind other immigrants through his time to adapt to the society. This novel conveys the themes of alienation, nostalgia, totalitarian authority, personal belonging and cultural differences. Through illustrating photorealistic characters in illusory and abstract environments, Shaun Tan demonstrates the stories of the immigrant experience regardless of time and invokes the interrelated bonding of the protagonist and the readers.

    The Arrival is illustrated with sepia-tone color schemes, from grayscale to gold, like an old-fashioned film strip depicting the imageries of a documentary. The flawless illustrations, the arrangement of panels, the author/illustrator’s use of light and shadowing in his brushstrokes are more than enough to depict the story without the use of any dialogue or text. The illustrator incorporates many techniques from cinematography such as time-lapses, zoom ins, fade ins to allow the perceptive readers to focus on the small yet significant details such as facial expressions, symbols and lighting through each individual panel to capture the timelessness of each moment. Each panel incorporates a varied use of shadowing in terms of brushstrokes such as the sepia photographs and the gray tentacles overshadowing the foreground of the city to express feelings of isolation and nostalgia and symbolize the presence of political and emotional oppression. Furthermore, the illustrator vividly implemented the use of foregrounds where he placed the fatherly figure in contrast with the city as the background to further signify the isolation felt within the protagonist.

    The frameless disordered panels are arranged within straight gridlines with light creases, unperceivable splotches and subtle nuances that are exquisitely blemished on the pages. One illustration would be just simple transition tiers of cloud formations, yet another would be a panoramic spread of a surreal city with monumental obelisks, bizarre forms of air transportation, distinctively alien creatures and mythic iconography that serves to unsettle the protagonist and the readers into the fear of isolation and nostalgia. In the panels, Shaun Tan manages to convey the hustling anarchy of urban city lifestyles while expressing silence and stillness within the panels, a compromise made to accommodate the conflicting themes of the novel. Furthermore, he uses sepia-toned backgrounds in replacement of plain white borders to establish the tone of an old family photo album.

    Even though this novel’s metaphorical, surreal, mythical nature of its illustrations depicts the theme far better than any literal, historically fictional “immigrant story” could, it might also be Shaun Tan’s only fatal flaw in terms of the storytelling method and the narration of the plot. In my opinion, there is subtlety and complexity throughout the plot development of the story that goes beyond the level of an average person’s ability to perceive. However, while one perceptive reader might find this novel an absolute masterpiece, another might find it as solely fractured pieces of a broken frame that do not carry a string of thought.

    The Arrival is not just an immigrant’s story, but the immigrant’s story. Shaun Tan uses the absence of dialogue, narrative balloons or sound effects to his advantage to propel his story without any verbal interpretations that would undoubtedly hinder the uniqueness of this novel. The story is relatable to anyone regardless of gender, race, nationality nor level of understanding language mechanics. The mature themes relate to adulthood, yet the steam punk illustrations are attractive to young teenagers.

    The Arrival is most definitely a piece of literature as it incorporates all of the literary components such as the plot, characters, themes etc. and lasts artistic merit to the readers to invoke their inner feelings of isolation from the society and feelings of nostalgia in retrospection. Filled with subtlety and grandeur, The Arrival is truly a masterpiece with its breath-taking imageries, delicate altercations in color and beautiful story plot.

Leave a Reply