I picked this book up from my local bookstore when it was first printed in 2007. I used it to inspire several of my students to consider other options in telling a story. 158 pictures and 26,159 words do not add up to either a written or a graphic novel, it is something in-between.
From complicated scenes like this one, the author zooms in like a camera on more and more details. At times, the pages run together like the flip books animators make, with one drawing after another to show a leaf falling or a frog jumping. Interestingly, the movie also uses this technique.
(I took these pics from my own copy of the book)
Here is Hugo Cabret from the book the way the author sees him.
And here he is in the movie. Although there were some major changes in the storyline in the movie, I missed Etienne who was taken out completely, the flavor of the movie stayed true to the book. They are both mood pieces, capturing a sense of another time and place, transporting and delighting us, and hopefully inspiring new artists.
Imagine taking the time to color a film frame by frame! The hours and dedication required to create a movie. Then compare the work of current film makers with the massive teams and banks of computers needed to create movies today.
If you write stories, perhaps this book will affect your choice on how to tell your story. Taking what you see in your imagination and sharing it with your readers is a special magic. Actually showing them what you see with drawings brings you even closer to completely sharing your vision.