I never really understood the graphic novel craze, but as a potential librarian I felt it was very much my duty to learn as much about the topic as I could. I took a Graphic Novels class in my library science program at Florida State University. I chose a rather interesting graphic novel to read as part of one of my projects and have never felt so compelled to share my thoughts on a book than the one titled When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs.
The graphic novel was published in 1982 and later adapted into what I have learned was an extremely popular animated film in Great Britain, its country of origin. The book was written at a time in the early 80s when there was still some nuclear uncertainty in the world and it follows an old british couple living in the countryside somewhere in Great Britain. The husband has learned from reading material at the public library that the country is on the brink of nuclear war attack and he has clipped out a guide on how they can survive.
Perhaps it’s Briggs use of a peaceful elderly couple who commonly bicker in the same many ways about little things we often can relate to that make this tale so daunting. Or, perhaps being one of the first graphic novels I have ever had the pleasure to really delve into, it’s the haunting smokey image of jet planes drawn over the couple’s peaceful serenity before my very eyes that have allowed this tale to bring anguish to my imagination when reading.
The book has seen at least 2 or 3 printings and has apparently been sold around the world though it appears to be getting harder to find. I was only able to track it down in a university library as most public library’s have probably long since weeded this from their collections. I also noticed this book was featured on AwfulLibraryBooks.net where I found it interesting that some librarians had mentioned this item was catalogued into their children’s section. Upon first look it might appear childish, but the themes are mature and can be very unsubtle. Nevertheless I highly recommend it as a read, as well as its animated film you can find below, and yes the theme was performed by David Bowie.