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March 27, 2012

Book Notes - Matthew Forsythe - "Jinchalo"

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, David Peace, Myla Goldberg, and many others.

Matthew Forsythe's graphic novel Jinchalo features only a handful of words on its 120 pages, but its pen-and-ink drawings evoke the spirit of their Korean folk tale roots with a vibrance that leaps off the page. Simple for a toddler to read, engaging for an adult, this is as much delightful storytelling as whimsical exercise for the imagination.

The National Post wrote of the book:

"Silence from characters requires illustration with verve, and Forsythe hardly has a stroke that doesn’t feel vivid like a child’s imagination, each panel crawling with potential, and realized with a twee glee, too."

Stream a Spotify playlist of these tunes. If you don't have Spotify yet, sign up for the free service.

In his own words, here is Matthew Forsythe's Book Notes music playlist for his graphic novel, Jinchalo:

Like a lot of writers and comic book makers, I can't listen to music while I'm writing or penciling a book. But I do put the music on while I'm inking, scanning and shading, which makes it a joyful part of the process.

"These Lonely Nights" - Willie Nelson

Making comics is a great job. But it's fucking lonely. Teatro is probably my favourite album of all time and I've probably listened to it a thousand hundred times since it came out.

"Linda Linda Linda" - Paranmaum

This is a Japanese film, but the singer, Bae doo Na, is a great Korean actress and plays an expat student in the film. And the song is exuberant and melancholy and captures a sort of expat, alien quality that I love.

"Fangela" - Here We Go Magic

A sketch that works the first time.

"Brahms Ballade Op.10, No.1" - Glenn Gould

This just needs to be here.

"Super Mario Brothers 2 Theme Music", Koji Kondo

Jinchalo is about imagination and the sky - which at first I thought I was a subconscious nod to Jack & the Beanstalk but then I realized I was just channeling Super Mario Brothers 2. It's kind of indelible - the influence of Nintendo on our generation, isn't it?

"Animals of Prey" - The Hidden Cameras

A Smell of Our Own was pretty much on repeat for the last week of working on the book. For me, this whole album is a sort of a whiskey-fuelled victory dance.

Matthew Forsythe and Jinchalo links:

the author's website

The A.V. Club review
Forbidden Planet review
The House Next Door review review
The Manitoban review
National Post review
Publishers Weekly review
Robot 6 review

Comic Book Resources interview with the author
Montreal Gazette profile of the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Book Notes playlists (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlists

List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
List of 2011 Year-End Online Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
52 Books, 52 Weeks (weekly book reviews)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists