“Is someone going to come out and fight you now?”
“I hope not.”
Goliath is Tom Gauld’s first graphic novel and it is a retelling of the Biblical myth from the point of view of Goliath himself. It is also the only graphic novel by Gauld that has not been translated into Italian yet. I personally think it deserves to be translated, because its themes and message would resonate a lot with an Italian audience.
If you have ever spent any amount of time in the bookish (or even just millennial) community on Instagram (or Twitter, or Tumblr, or literally every other social platform), you’ll have come across one Gauld’s comic strips: they’re concise, sometimes absurd and always hilarious. Tom Gauld, an illustrator and comic artist, is very prolific and he currently illustrates weekly comic strips for The Guardian, and The New Scientist. His strips deal mainly with academic or literary themes – no surprise, then, that he is so popular with us book nerds. His style – much like his dry humour – is particularly memorable: heavily stylised, but all the same very expressive.
Goliath, his first graphic novel, originally published by Drawn & Quarterly in 20112, encapsulates all of Gauld’s finest qualities as a comic artist. A pioneer of the now ever-present trend of Classics retellings, Goliath explores the myth of David and Goliath, but from the point of view of the giant. What if Goliath did not want any part in the war? What if he was a simple accountant who had been dragged along and made to fight a battle that was not his?
Gauld as usual does not shy away from profound themes such as war, violence and personal responsibility. He gives Goliath a voice that he lacked in the original Bible story and interweaves it with modern views on peace and morality, which I think would make this book particularly appealing to a modern Italian audience.
Gauld already has a market in Italy as two of his collections of comic strips, as well as his other graphic novel, have been translated and published in Italy – with the titles Siete solo invidiosi del mio zaino a razzo (Edizioni ISBN, 2014), In cucina con Kafka (Oscar Ink, 2018) and Mooncop – Poliziotto lunare (Oscar Ink, 2019). Goliath, on the other hand, has already been published in 10 territories: France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Japan and Korea.
The timing would also be right, as Gauld is becoming increasingly well-known internationally and his newest collection of science-related comic strips, Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, comes out in April 2020.
In short, Goliath is a fresh take on classic story, which turns into a poignant reflection on war and the toll it takes on people. For this reason, I would love to see Goliath join Gauld’s other books on the bookshelves of Italian bookstores.
This is M signing out for now! ✨