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Over the past three decades, Kim Deitch has been one of the most vital graphic novelists the medium has to offer — his oeuvre includes such classics as The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Alias the Cat, and The Search for Smilin’ Ed. His new graphic novel, Reincarnation Stories, feels like the apotheosis of his career, an ambitiously sprawling tour de force exploring the concept of reincarnation.
When Deitch was four years old, he began having memories of a time when he wore glasses. The problem was, he had never actually worn glasses. Then, one day, young Deitch was sitting on a bench when an elderly man approached him, excited. “Is it possible? Sid! SID PINCUS! Good God, man! You’ve changed. You’re smaller! And where are your glasses?”
From there, Deitch weaves a dizzying maze of reincarnation stories that spans the past, present, and future of human history, with appearances by Frank Sinatra, monkey gods, a forgotten cowboy star of the silver screen, a tribe of Native Americans that have successfully resettled on the moon, and a parallel reality where Deitch is the creator of best-selling kids books featuring the superhero Young Avatar, who helps marginalized souls lead better lives and in his secret identity works as a carpenter.
In the rich tapestry of a graphic novel that is Reincarnation Stories, Deitch reveals his sheer mastery of storytelling.