Art speaks louder than words when the Journal interviews two cartoonists who have had success with “silence.” Norwegian Jason, who populates comics, such as Hey, Wait…, The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler with deadpan anthropomorphic animals, muses on the thin line between tragedy and laughter and why B-movie creations continue to resonate with the 21st century public. Lio comic-strip cartoonist Mark Tatulli talks to the Journal about bringing kids and ghouls together on the Funny Pages in Lio, one of the most innovative and entertaining comics strips in recent decades. And a color comics gallery goes back to the early days of one of the world’s longest-running comic strips: Billy DeBeck’s Snuffy Smith precursor, Take Barney Google, F’rinstance, spanning 1919 to 1921.
Thanks to some inventory reshuffling we now have several formerly out-of-stock books back in our warehouse and available to order! Quantities are very limited — in some cases, literally a handful — so get your order in quick before they're gone again! The list:
Here's your first glimpse at the feature interviews with Norwegian graphic novelist Jason and Lio cartoonist Mark Tartulli, the special portfolio of cartoonists' holiday cards, the comics section of Barney Google strips, and more that can be found in the upcoming Comics Journal #294. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
Also: other publishers have new stuff coming out from our pals Chris Ware, Gilbert Hernandez and Kevin Huizenga, so this is definitely a good week to hit the shops. As customary, we've got previews of our releases that you can check out at the links above to help maximize your shopping time.
This superbly evocative graphic novella by the award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (his first appearance in the English language) starts off as a melancholy childhood memoir and then, with a shocking twist midway through, becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. (Imagine a version of Stand by Me in which not all of the kids outrace the train.) Like Art Spiegelman did with Maus, Jason utilizes anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth charge comes as an even greater shock. His sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next (sometimes spanning a number of years) make Hey, Wait... a surprising and engaging debut. Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez calls this one of the best graphic novels ever.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar... no, it's not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason's unique new graphic novel. Set in 1920s Paris, The Left Bank Gang is a deliciously inventive re-imagining of these four literary figures as not only typical Jason anthropomorphics, but...graphic novelists! Yes, in Jason's warped world, cartooning is the dominant form of fiction, and not only do these four work literary giants work in the comics medium but they get together to discuss pen vs. brush, chat about the latest graphic novels from Dostoevsky ("I can't tell any of his characters apart!") to Faulkner ("Hasn't he heard of white space? His panels are too crowded!"), and bemoan their erratic careers. With guest appearances by Zelda Fitzgerald and Jean-Paul Sartre, and a few remarkable twists and turns along the way, and you've got one of the funniest and most playful graphic novels of the year. Like Jason's acclaimed Why Are You Doing This?, The Left Bank Gang is rendered in full spectacular color.
2007 Eisner Award Winner, Best U.S. Edition of International Material