99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

99 Ways To Tell a Story: Exercises in Style Is an experimental graphic novel by Matt Madden, published by the Penguin Group. Inspired by Raymond Queneau's work Exercises In Style, it tells the same simple story in 99 different ways. These ways include parodies(of EC Comics' horror lines, Underground Comix, Manga, the Fantasy genre); Different, many times unusual perspectives (From a voyeur looking in the window with binoculars, the refrigerator, a fixed point in space in the downstairs room) to more adventurous experiments. (As a map, a lifetime, digitally (Entirely in binary numbers), nested stories, advertisements).

The Template Story

Matt is working at his computer (panel 1), then gets up (panel 2). He stands in a doorway for a moment (panel 3), enters the kitchen(panel 4), and Jessica then asks from upstairs what time it is. Matt answers that it's 1:15 (panel 5), then opens the refrigerator (panel 6), looks for a moment (panel 7), then suddenly does not remember "What the hell he was looking for"(Panel 8).Every story in the book is based on this simple one; sometimes only the positions of the characters remain the same in every story, at other times only the dialog is the same.

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