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Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary

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Return to the real-life days of the wild, wild West where the living wasn't so easy... especially for women. Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Cannary) was a bona fide frontierswoman, a professional scout, a drunk, and sometime whore, doing whatever it took to stay alive in the hardscrabble days of American expansion. Writer Christian Perrissin (El Nino, Cape Horn) joins forces w Return to the real-life days of the wild, wild West where the living wasn't so easy... especially for women. Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Cannary) was a bona fide frontierswoman, a professional scout, a drunk, and sometime whore, doing whatever it took to stay alive in the hardscrabble days of American expansion. Writer Christian Perrissin (El Nino, Cape Horn) joins forces with Alph-Art-winning artist Matthieu Blanchin to tackle the legend of this formidable prairie girl and her daring life alongside the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok. In it's first translation from French, this graphic novel illustrates the extraordinary tale of an independent woman with gumption -- the incredible Calamity Jane!


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Return to the real-life days of the wild, wild West where the living wasn't so easy... especially for women. Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Cannary) was a bona fide frontierswoman, a professional scout, a drunk, and sometime whore, doing whatever it took to stay alive in the hardscrabble days of American expansion. Writer Christian Perrissin (El Nino, Cape Horn) joins forces w Return to the real-life days of the wild, wild West where the living wasn't so easy... especially for women. Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Cannary) was a bona fide frontierswoman, a professional scout, a drunk, and sometime whore, doing whatever it took to stay alive in the hardscrabble days of American expansion. Writer Christian Perrissin (El Nino, Cape Horn) joins forces with Alph-Art-winning artist Matthieu Blanchin to tackle the legend of this formidable prairie girl and her daring life alongside the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok. In it's first translation from French, this graphic novel illustrates the extraordinary tale of an independent woman with gumption -- the incredible Calamity Jane!

30 review for Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was a really thorough and interesting biography about an incredibly fascinating woman. I realized while reading this that I was always aware of “Calamity Jane” and that she was inextricably linked with cowboys and the old west, but I never actually knew *anything* about her. Perrissin reveals to readers the complex inner life of this elusive woman, starting from her teens (when she abandoned her siblings, supposedly to get money to help support them), to adulthood (following her rise to infa This was a really thorough and interesting biography about an incredibly fascinating woman. I realized while reading this that I was always aware of “Calamity Jane” and that she was inextricably linked with cowboys and the old west, but I never actually knew *anything* about her. Perrissin reveals to readers the complex inner life of this elusive woman, starting from her teens (when she abandoned her siblings, supposedly to get money to help support them), to adulthood (following her rise to infamy), and eventually old age. It’s a really complete picture - highlighting all the admirable traits of Jane’s character along with her very glaring flaws - without being too weighted down by facts and timelines (though there is A LOT of font/writing - this is not a short read!) It’s clear Perrissin is enthusiastic about his subject when you consider the amount of research that must have gone into this work. He quotes from a number of primary sources and has an extensive bibliography at the end of the book, giving readers who want to dig deeper lots of resources with which to do so. While Perrissin rarely imposes his voice and/or assumptions in the text, he does make note when there are gaps in the collective pool of knowledge on Jane. I personally prefer when authors hold back on imposing themselves in these types of works and let the subject speak for itself - this balance is struck very well here, in my opinion. The art is sketchy, with washes of grey and sepia. It suits the atmosphere of the time period and locale perfectly. My only complaint is that, due to the sketchy art, it was sometimes hard to discern people’s faces. There was often other distinguishing features to help readers from confusing people, but this wasn’t always the case. Other than that, I have no complaints, really. Overall, I really liked this! It was dense but fascinating and I feel like I learnt a lot without feeling like I was being subjected to a boring history lesson. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, but if you have any interest in the Wild West or biographies on badass women, you should seriously consider picking this one up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dimitris Papastergiou

    What can I say about this masterpiece? Can Christian Perrissin please write something like that for other people from the Old West? Like Jesse James? Please? Pretty please?! I loved this! If you're a fan of the old west it's a must. If you're a fun of Calamity Jane then DUH! This pretty much sums up Calamity's life since she was a kid until the end of her life. THIS is how they should make biographies in comics. That's it. I loved every single bit of it. Even the ones I thought I wouldn't like or What can I say about this masterpiece? Can Christian Perrissin please write something like that for other people from the Old West? Like Jesse James? Please? Pretty please?! I loved this! If you're a fan of the old west it's a must. If you're a fun of Calamity Jane then DUH! This pretty much sums up Calamity's life since she was a kid until the end of her life. THIS is how they should make biographies in comics. That's it. I loved every single bit of it. Even the ones I thought I wouldn't like or get bored. No. They were so nicely written that you don't get bored at all. The artwork. The art in this one is SO good. I don't know how many times I was looking at the simplicity of the artwork but being amazed by how awesome it was. Had some minor problems with it, where I'd basically look at a photograph of a huge bridge or something like that in the middle of the page and it was super obvious that it wasn't drawn.. but it wouldn't bother me THAT much.. though come to think of it, I'm mentioning it so yeah.. whenever I'd see something like that I'd be like.. whyyy... boredom I guess? Time? Dunno! Anyway, besides that, the artwork is simply great for the theme of the story and everything. I'd love to read anything drawn by Matthieu Blanchin! The story was not making you sleep or stall while reading something else in the meantime after chapter and whatnot (which I usually do) and that was amazing! The fact that it had a lighter tone in it, and it was somewhat funny at times, it worked really well, because Martha Jane had to go through a LOT of dark shit to get by and to survive like most of people back then, so that didn't make it too dark of a story or depressing which it really was with everything that was happening back then. Love it and would definitely recommend to anyone who's a fan of the old west!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    How much do you know about Calmity Jane? Do you confuse her with Annie Oakley? Was she at the Battle of Little Big Horn? Did she really merry Wild Bill Hickok? This graphic novel tries to answer the questions about her life, but she was apparently a good story teller, and much of what we know of her comes from letters she wrote to her daughter, but never sent. The authors used documents that were as close to the sources as they could, since Calimity Jane had many things written about her while sh How much do you know about Calmity Jane? Do you confuse her with Annie Oakley? Was she at the Battle of Little Big Horn? Did she really merry Wild Bill Hickok? This graphic novel tries to answer the questions about her life, but she was apparently a good story teller, and much of what we know of her comes from letters she wrote to her daughter, but never sent. The authors used documents that were as close to the sources as they could, since Calimity Jane had many things written about her while she was alive, dime store novels, her own tall tales, that were simply not true. The authors admit that it is hard to figure out what truly happened, but that they are trying to come close, and still tell a good story. One thing that I didn't realize is that she only dressed and acted as a man in the beginning, and after that, she dressed in pants, but was known to be a woman. Interesting read, interesting story of an unusual woman.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    When I read biographies, I'm hoping for insight into a real person or context for why this person's life is important to know. Unfortunately, this long, long graphic novel mostly offers up a string of events that coheres to inform only that Calamity Jane was a habitual liar and alcoholic. Indeed, even the string of events offered has to be asterisked as possibly false, as they are based on sources created mostly by the prevaricator in question herself, and contradictions abound. The dusty dry nar When I read biographies, I'm hoping for insight into a real person or context for why this person's life is important to know. Unfortunately, this long, long graphic novel mostly offers up a string of events that coheres to inform only that Calamity Jane was a habitual liar and alcoholic. Indeed, even the string of events offered has to be asterisked as possibly false, as they are based on sources created mostly by the prevaricator in question herself, and contradictions abound. The dusty dry narration and scratchy art do little to make the reading experience pleasurable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Incredibly compelling "biography" of a legendary woman. I did quite a bit of reading online to try to get at what was fact and what was legend, but as the author intimates, it is actually pretty difficult. And so Perrissin has created a love letter of sorts to Jane, and effectively brings along the reader. I cried when she saw her daughter after all those years and then had to part with her all too soon. I would rank this up there with Chester Brown's Louis Riel. It was hard to put it down. Incredibly compelling "biography" of a legendary woman. I did quite a bit of reading online to try to get at what was fact and what was legend, but as the author intimates, it is actually pretty difficult. And so Perrissin has created a love letter of sorts to Jane, and effectively brings along the reader. I cried when she saw her daughter after all those years and then had to part with her all too soon. I would rank this up there with Chester Brown's Louis Riel. It was hard to put it down.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson

    An absolutely charming and extremely well- executed book that manages to portray the subject in a sympathetic light while not glossing over the more unsavory details of her life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    review - https://youtu.be/cC6Fx0H6F14 review - https://youtu.be/cC6Fx0H6F14

  8. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    The woman was mad, indubitably mad. Also drunk much of the time. Not willing to take responsibility for anything but herself, an inveterate story teller, and someone who couldn't really get along with people. Was her first daughter Wild Bill Hickok's child? What happened to her third child, Jessie? How much did her drinking affect the health of the little boy who lived only a few weeks? There appears to be very little information about her life save what was told to others. One interview during w The woman was mad, indubitably mad. Also drunk much of the time. Not willing to take responsibility for anything but herself, an inveterate story teller, and someone who couldn't really get along with people. Was her first daughter Wild Bill Hickok's child? What happened to her third child, Jessie? How much did her drinking affect the health of the little boy who lived only a few weeks? There appears to be very little information about her life save what was told to others. One interview during which she admitted she hadn't been a scout for Custer, but only a mule skinner seems to indicate more of what her life really consisted of. Otherwise the authors must have relied on police records for the number of times she was "drunk in public", "drunk and disorderly", "damaging property while drunk" and so on, although those records also indicate where she was. She left her siblings behind in Salt Lake City and appears never to have checked back on them or even thought of them until she met her brother Cy before the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He lit into her and she had very little explanation. He died during the battle, of course, while she was elsewhere recovering from pneumonia (for a change). She gave her first child, Janey, to a Richmond couple, although that seems to have caused her some pain since she actually saved up money so that she could visit the child in her new family and kept the secret afterward as to her parenting. The baby boy appears to have been premature (not surprising given her background) and his death was part of the reason she broke up with his father. Jessie, her third child, would seem to have been left at the convent school she attended for the nuns to look after. She couldn't seem to settle down and no one knew what to make of her. She was egalitarian as far as people's ethnic origins were concerned except for the Indian nations. She was certainly racist there and had no qualms at all about tearing up treaties and stomping through sacred lands. The art work is in black and white and very lively. It is to be noted that the publishers put a Parental Advisory notice on the back of the book below the ISBN. There is certainly a great deal of nudity and crude language. The crude language would be expected since so much of her life was spent near army posts and saloons. The author has avoided suggestions that she was wildly promiscuous but she certainly didn't have trouble finding sexual partners and didn't worry about marriage except where Bill Hickok was concerned. The book covers the intrusions into the Black Hills, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the building of the railways across the Plains and the gold rushes. Martha Jane definitely lived in interesting times and this book just gallops along through it all.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary is an attempt at a biography of this mysterious woman. A quick google search shows that her life is the subject of a lot of controversy, so who knows exactly what in these pages is true. However, Perrissin does try to take a less Disneyified approach to this woman's life. Calamity was a hard woman who lived a hard life. She travelled, worked jobs that paid poorly, and was an alcoholic. Whatever the truth of her years is, this book probabl Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary is an attempt at a biography of this mysterious woman. A quick google search shows that her life is the subject of a lot of controversy, so who knows exactly what in these pages is true. However, Perrissin does try to take a less Disneyified approach to this woman's life. Calamity was a hard woman who lived a hard life. She travelled, worked jobs that paid poorly, and was an alcoholic. Whatever the truth of her years is, this book probably nailed at least a lot of the appropriate sentiment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert Greenberger

    I knew the name Calamity Jane but nothing much about her so when I saw this had been nominated for an Eisner I picked it up. This is a French biography, translated into English, and leisurely tells the colorful story of the frontier rider. She was many things apparently but all them to spoke a fierce independence, making her an unlikely feminist role model. She was left to raise her siblings when her parents died and effectively abandoned them (their fates are barely touched on here) to go off on I knew the name Calamity Jane but nothing much about her so when I saw this had been nominated for an Eisner I picked it up. This is a French biography, translated into English, and leisurely tells the colorful story of the frontier rider. She was many things apparently but all them to spoke a fierce independence, making her an unlikely feminist role model. She was left to raise her siblings when her parents died and effectively abandoned them (their fates are barely touched on here) to go off on her own at 15. Her adventures are tinged with bouts of depression which seemed to fuel her alcoholism, which helped cut her life short. The monochromatic artwork is nicely effective although the art itself is a tad crude for my taste and facial emotions are somewhat obscured, as are moments of storytelling. Still, the story is well told and we get enough context to understand her place in the development of the west in the 19th century. There are precious few verified details about her life and controversy over the authenticness of the letters Jane wrote to her first daughter that form the bulk of the story. Times, dates, specific events, and more cannot be proven so this book is one version of the story while other biographies differ so read this and enjoy it, but know there is much unknown about its veracity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adam M

    *read for the YA Reading Challenge 20202* This was a far more interesting biography than I would have thought going into it and I really enjoyed it! Christian Perrissin feels really invested in Martha Jane and her story. I totally get that as I'm generally a huge of of the larger-than-life characters from the American west/frontier. There is something really fascinating about what it took to both brave and survive that world and here we're presented with Jane's own truly unbelievable account of h *read for the YA Reading Challenge 20202* This was a far more interesting biography than I would have thought going into it and I really enjoyed it! Christian Perrissin feels really invested in Martha Jane and her story. I totally get that as I'm generally a huge of of the larger-than-life characters from the American west/frontier. There is something really fascinating about what it took to both brave and survive that world and here we're presented with Jane's own truly unbelievable account of her live and the sadder, more tragic version of the tales history can actually back up. The art in this book reminded me of something I can't exactly place my finger on. It's reminiscent of Lone Wolf and Cub, but not quite the same. It's a soft sort of watercolor or ink wash look that, for me anyway, really matched the feel of the story. It was a good pairing at any rate that I felt helped the storytelling. This feels like a longer graphic novel, but because it's a linear look at her life I didn't mind. It is pretty dense, but it never exhausted me. It was more a problem with my availability to sit and read at anytime that made this take as long. I found it to be a page-turner.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nate Hawthorne

    4 stars for the illustrations. The sepia tone of the line drawings adds to the historical feel of the book. Quite beautifully done. The narrative is take from 3 biographies of Calamity Jane. One text is the copy of her own letters to her "daughter". No one knows how factual the stories actually are. Still it is all very interesting. 4 stars for the illustrations. The sepia tone of the line drawings adds to the historical feel of the book. Quite beautifully done. The narrative is take from 3 biographies of Calamity Jane. One text is the copy of her own letters to her "daughter". No one knows how factual the stories actually are. Still it is all very interesting.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Larry C

    Incredible story told with loving compassion and perfect artwork. Who knows what the truth is about this woman? After reading this graphic novel, this is the only version of her story that you’ll want to know.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The authors did an excellent job in bringing the historical figure of Calamity Jane to life. I absolutely enjoyed reading this, but I gave it a lower rating because of the inaccuracy of some very basic facts. Of course we don't know the truth about much of Calamity Jane's life, but we do know the fate of Jack McCall, the man who shot and killed Wild Bill Hickok. The authors tell us that McCall was put on trial in Deadwood, found not guilty, and left for Wyoming where he was never heard from agai The authors did an excellent job in bringing the historical figure of Calamity Jane to life. I absolutely enjoyed reading this, but I gave it a lower rating because of the inaccuracy of some very basic facts. Of course we don't know the truth about much of Calamity Jane's life, but we do know the fate of Jack McCall, the man who shot and killed Wild Bill Hickok. The authors tell us that McCall was put on trial in Deadwood, found not guilty, and left for Wyoming where he was never heard from again. It's well documented, though, that McCall was tried again for the murder of Wild Bill. The government decided his first trial didn't count because Deadwood was an illegal settlement and didn't have a legal court system. He was tried again in Yankton (SD), found guilty, and executed - the first person to be executed by U.S. government officials in Dakota Territory. He's buried in Yankton, but the exact location of his grave is unknown.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    Christian Perrissin offers more stories about Calamity Jane than you ever wanted to know. Seriously, this book is dense, and Jane - while certainly a character! - didn't exactly lead the most thrilling life at all times. There's plenty of moping and alcoholism in between the mad romps with Wild Bill Hickok and run-ins with fierce Native American tribes. It's at least 80% fascinating, though, and Perrissin does deliver a fully-formed person in Jane, particularly when it comes to the daughter she Christian Perrissin offers more stories about Calamity Jane than you ever wanted to know. Seriously, this book is dense, and Jane - while certainly a character! - didn't exactly lead the most thrilling life at all times. There's plenty of moping and alcoholism in between the mad romps with Wild Bill Hickok and run-ins with fierce Native American tribes. It's at least 80% fascinating, though, and Perrissin does deliver a fully-formed person in Jane, particularly when it comes to the daughter she gave up to rich folks out east. Perrissin and Matthieu Blanchin also do an excellent job of fleshing out the "wild west" world of the late 1800's, from army outposts to loosely formed frontier towns. I could definitely see this tome being edited down and translated into a thrilling TV mini-series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    A long, somewhat meandering but very grounded look at the real life of late 1800s western legend Calamity Jane. Given her proclivity towards myth-building lies, the story uses an interesting format of day-in-the-life dramatization based on a variety of sources between transitional interludes of more objectively fact-based updates on what she was up to and the notable contemporary events in the Western Prairie she spent most of her life traversing. This is a sympathetic depiction of Jane, but also A long, somewhat meandering but very grounded look at the real life of late 1800s western legend Calamity Jane. Given her proclivity towards myth-building lies, the story uses an interesting format of day-in-the-life dramatization based on a variety of sources between transitional interludes of more objectively fact-based updates on what she was up to and the notable contemporary events in the Western Prairie she spent most of her life traversing. This is a sympathetic depiction of Jane, but also doesn’t ignore her many glaring faults. She was orphaned by 15 with several younger siblings left in her care and expected to marry an older polygamist Mormon man she cared nothing for. Jane, unable to imagine such a loveless, domestic existence for her restless, independent spirit, leaves it all behind and embarks on a decade or so of hustling all over the Western Prairie, making a name for herself by 30. She does a ton of odd jobs, often doing a decent bit of good, and just as often has to obscure that she’s actually a woman to do them. More than once she’s found out, and the reaction is never kind. She’s also often in the vicinity of notable happenings, or else close enough to claim she was in the mix. Her brash, lively retellings are charming entertainment in a setting that seems starved for amusement, but also seem to wear out her welcome just as quick. More so, her alcoholism and the unreliability that comes along with it, combined with her mercenary sense of restlessness, lead to much of her life feeling like a series of burned bridges, one misfortune after another. It’s hard to know how many of her problems were simply the self-inflicted result of decades of alcoholism, and how much was the conflict between her constant restlessness and her seeming desire to settle down with someone she truly cared for who would care for her back. Overall, it’s a sad but fascinating story. The art is an impressionistic eurocomic take on the western, illustrated in dark inks and colored with gray watercolors. It’s pleasantly cartoony and broad at times, but also offers beautiful landscapes interspersed throughout.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jarrah

    Before this book I never really knew anything about Calamity Jane beyond her name and the fact that she was a figure in the history of the Wild West. This graphic novel changed all that, taking us on a detailed journey through her truly calamitous life and clarifying rumor from what we know to be true. It's fascinating to see everything she went through and the jobs she was able to take on, including a few that required her to disguise herself as a man. It's also heartbreaking to read about many Before this book I never really knew anything about Calamity Jane beyond her name and the fact that she was a figure in the history of the Wild West. This graphic novel changed all that, taking us on a detailed journey through her truly calamitous life and clarifying rumor from what we know to be true. It's fascinating to see everything she went through and the jobs she was able to take on, including a few that required her to disguise herself as a man. It's also heartbreaking to read about many of her personal relationships over the years. Content note: this book is focused on the life of Martha Jane Cannary and sticks to the dominant perspectives of historical events surrounding it. As such, the narrative of Indians as "savages" recurs throughout, as what would have been the view of Jane and her cohorts, and is not really unpacked or questioned.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gunderhaegg

    The human experience is the basis of many interesting stories. This is definitely the case for the stary of 'Calamity Jane'. I had heard the name Calamity Jane during my youth, together with other famous ones like Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill et cetera. At the time I didn't reflect on the fact that there was a real life behind the name. This book does a fantastic job of trying to piece together the puzzle that is Martha Jane Cannary's life. What is real, what is exaggeration, what is a humdin The human experience is the basis of many interesting stories. This is definitely the case for the stary of 'Calamity Jane'. I had heard the name Calamity Jane during my youth, together with other famous ones like Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill et cetera. At the time I didn't reflect on the fact that there was a real life behind the name. This book does a fantastic job of trying to piece together the puzzle that is Martha Jane Cannary's life. What is real, what is exaggeration, what is a humdinger of a lie? While Jane's life is almost to strange to be true, I found the story of the developing American nation just as interesting. Remember,... this is just over a hundred years ago! The book might be a bit long for my taste, but absolutely worth the read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    The_Mad_Swede

    The French and Belgians have a knack for doing Western comics, which is something I have long been aware of thanks to such great works as Charlier and Giraud's Blueberry and Derib's Buddy Longway among others, but here writer Christian Perrissin and artist Matthieu Blanchin take things a step further by successfully combining the Western comic with the biographical comic, and set to telling a well-researched and highly informative account of the life of Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a. Calamity Jane. The French and Belgians have a knack for doing Western comics, which is something I have long been aware of thanks to such great works as Charlier and Giraud's Blueberry and Derib's Buddy Longway among others, but here writer Christian Perrissin and artist Matthieu Blanchin take things a step further by successfully combining the Western comic with the biographical comic, and set to telling a well-researched and highly informative account of the life of Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a. Calamity Jane. The narrative is told more or less chronologically, with a few ellipsis that are filled in later, and differing accounts are occasionally presented when the historical material calls for it. And the result is highly pleasing. Blanchin's artwork is very suited to the narrative, and his style and storytelling on more than one occasion reminds me a bit of Will Eisner's, which is high praise coming from me. The work has been translated into English by Diana Schutz and Brandon Kander, and while I cannot comment on its fidelity to the original, it reads very nicely. All in all, this is warmly recommended to anyone interested in Calamity Jane, or anyone who wants to read a really good Western comic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I’ve read a few biographical graphic novels. This one didn’t continuously hold my interest, but it was good and depicted a life of someone who made her own path amidst a turbulent west, a patriarchal society, and her own bad decisions and drinking. Based on research including a book of letters Martha “Calamity” Jane Cannery wrote to her daughter, it doesn’t ask for sympathy, nor does it paint a traditional hero - just a woman of the west trying to survive. The art is is done in browns on a nice I’ve read a few biographical graphic novels. This one didn’t continuously hold my interest, but it was good and depicted a life of someone who made her own path amidst a turbulent west, a patriarchal society, and her own bad decisions and drinking. Based on research including a book of letters Martha “Calamity” Jane Cannery wrote to her daughter, it doesn’t ask for sympathy, nor does it paint a traditional hero - just a woman of the west trying to survive. The art is is done in browns on a nice heavy paper stock that makes it feel old and real. Thanks to the owner of Cape and Cowl Comics in Oakland for recommending it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nilendu Misra

    One of the finest graphic novels I’ve read. This teleports you to 1850s frontier and moves linearly toward 20th century through Calamity Jane’s life. Oregon Trail, Indians, Bonding women, childbirth and rugged lives of the frontier comes alive with each pencil stroke of the illustrator. I was genuinely surprised to see the authors were not American. Perhaps that’s why they were able to enliven the spirits of the time so vividly. Great great book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Ever since I saw the HBO series Deadwood, I've wondered what kind of person Calamity Jane really was. This graphic novel did a fine job doing its best to piece together how Martha Jane Cannary grew up and lived like. Quite an eclectic character that just couldn't seem to settle down is the jist of it, but there's a lot of good stories contained within these pages. A very enjoyable and enlightening read. Ever since I saw the HBO series Deadwood, I've wondered what kind of person Calamity Jane really was. This graphic novel did a fine job doing its best to piece together how Martha Jane Cannary grew up and lived like. Quite an eclectic character that just couldn't seem to settle down is the jist of it, but there's a lot of good stories contained within these pages. A very enjoyable and enlightening read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zoann

    I read this for a book challenge. It was ok. The graphic novel is not my favorite genre. I knew nothing about Calamity Jane beyond her name and a vague association with the "wild, wild west". Evidently, much about her life isn't known--she was an admitted liar ("storyteller") and her life is mostly undocumented but the bare outlines are enough--she led a very hard life in which survival alone was a large accomplishment. I read this for a book challenge. It was ok. The graphic novel is not my favorite genre. I knew nothing about Calamity Jane beyond her name and a vague association with the "wild, wild west". Evidently, much about her life isn't known--she was an admitted liar ("storyteller") and her life is mostly undocumented but the bare outlines are enough--she led a very hard life in which survival alone was a large accomplishment.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peggye O'Neil

    This was a graphic novel depiction of Calamity Jane's life based on the letters she supposedly wrote to her daughter Janey (some people feel Calamity was barely literate) and two biographies. Known to be a great teller of tales, one doesn't know how much of her life was true and how much she made up. Was an interesting and fun adaptation to read and caused me to go down the Google rabbit hole to find out more, and possibly the "true" history, about some of the incidences that were presented. This was a graphic novel depiction of Calamity Jane's life based on the letters she supposedly wrote to her daughter Janey (some people feel Calamity was barely literate) and two biographies. Known to be a great teller of tales, one doesn't know how much of her life was true and how much she made up. Was an interesting and fun adaptation to read and caused me to go down the Google rabbit hole to find out more, and possibly the "true" history, about some of the incidences that were presented.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Oneirosophos

    A must read, one of the best BD's, translated in English, I've read this decade. A very well written, thorough biography, with excellent flow, honoring Calamity Jane, with all goods and bads, in every one of the overall 360 pages. My full review in Greek: http://www.comicdom.gr/2017/10/25/cal... A must read, one of the best BD's, translated in English, I've read this decade. A very well written, thorough biography, with excellent flow, honoring Calamity Jane, with all goods and bads, in every one of the overall 360 pages. My full review in Greek: http://www.comicdom.gr/2017/10/25/cal...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    via NYPL - Don't bother asking yourself if this book is accurate. Whatever records of Jane's life may have existed are hopelessly bound up in the myths she (and others) propagated about her life. Just enjoy this book for what it is - a compelling, well-drawn story of a complex and tragic woman. via NYPL - Don't bother asking yourself if this book is accurate. Whatever records of Jane's life may have existed are hopelessly bound up in the myths she (and others) propagated about her life. Just enjoy this book for what it is - a compelling, well-drawn story of a complex and tragic woman.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    An intriguing look at the little known oft-embellished life of Calamity Jane. The pictures do as much if not more of the work as the historical record of giving scope to her tale. It's a fascinating rumination on what could be true. One I will keep on my book shelf. An intriguing look at the little known oft-embellished life of Calamity Jane. The pictures do as much if not more of the work as the historical record of giving scope to her tale. It's a fascinating rumination on what could be true. One I will keep on my book shelf.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Luy

    Loved how the art and story supported each other. A fascinating person who helps explain the West as it was, and not as it is often portrayed. And the book does a great job of presenting Jane, flaws and all.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paxton Holley

    I really liked this. The art is fantastic. Tells the life of Calamity Jane. Very well told. Keeps the hyperbole to a minimum. Tries to be as close to true as possible. And I don’t think I can stress enough how awesome the art is. Black and white, looks like brush strokes. I really liked it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    wildct2003

    Very good read. I lost some interest when it covered non-Martha Cannary backstory, but I enjoyed the whole book nonetheless.

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