From award-winning author, Arnaud Delalande and illustrator Eric Liberge, who have both produced numerous graphic novels in France, of which have been translated into twenty different languages, comes the first ever graphic biography of World War II codebreaker, ALAN TURING.
Even in modern society, there is still an element of stigmatism directed towards homosexuality. The fear and loathing born from an era long gone still exists around the globe in our ‘civilised’ world of today. In THE CASE OF ALAN TURING the reader is drawn deep into the mind-set of one of our most legendary heroes of World War II; the brilliant mathematician who was solicited by the British government to decode Germany’s Enigma machines. The work of Turing and his colleagues at Hut 8 created what became known as the ‘bombe’ which descrambled the German navy’s messages and succeeded in saving countless lives. However, despite his heroics, Turing was still judged for being homosexual and sentenced to chemical castration as punishment, ultimately leading to his untimely death and is a perfect example of government ingratitude.
Eric Liberge does a particularly admirable job of conjuring the political atmosphere of World War II and displaying an intimate depiction of a gay man living in an intolerant society. The use of light and shadow in these illustrations help to create a vivid representation of Turing’s emotions. Most noticeably with his experiences of self-doubt and guilt, which can be likened to popular superheroes, such as, Batman and Spider-man, drawing the reader into Turing’s complex personal world. The heroic rendering of Turing can be applied to Liberge’s unique artistic style, in which his illustrations resonate with his viewers by the deft tones and his simplistic use of colours, which evoke and capture Turing’s raw and heightened sense of feeling.
The fascination with Alan Turing was furthered when the movie, The Imitation Game, was issued in 2014 starring well-known actor Benedict Cumberbatch, rising to be the top-grossing independent film release from that year. Where the movie only alludes to Turing’s homosexuality, rather focusing on the process of breaking the Enigma Code and highlighting his relationship with Joan Clarke, in comparison, the graphic biography delves deeper into Turing’s homosexual nature, the inner workings of his mentality and the feelings of isolation associated with his supreme intelligence. Additionally, Turing’s captivation with the movie, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, is emphasised more so in the book, with speculative connections to resisting temptation and the consequences of giving in to ones darker desires, might explain his fascination with the enchanting production and the reason as to why he decided to use an apple laced with cyanide to be the instrument of his demise.
Popmatters thought THE CASE OF ALAN TURING offered a ‘fuller portrait of Turing as a human being while also honouring his many intellectual accomplishments’. As an ingenious man, who was severely underappreciated and dishonourably penalised, THE CASE OF ALAN TURING is an appropriate celebration of a homosexual genius who arguably won the war for Britain, as well as, subsequently providing us with a fast-track guide to our own technological evolution.
Fans of 1940s history, with an interest in the story behind the legendary man who solved the Enigma Code, will delight in this well-researched and awe-inspiring graphic biography.
The Case of Alan Turing is published on 17th November 2016 by Arsenal Pulp Press
9781551526508 • £18.99 • Hardback
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Post by Sarah