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A matching volume to 2009's Almost Silent, What I Did collects three of Jasons acclaimed 1990s graphic novels into a handsome, definitive omnibus format.
"Hey, Wait...," which was the first of Jason's books to be translated to English, tells the story of two childhood friends. A dreadful event midway through the story changes their lives forever, and the story becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. Jason's sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next make "Hey, Wait..." a surprising and engaging debut.
"Sshhhh!" is one of Jasons virtuoso silent performances, the cradle-to-grave life of one of his bird-headed characters. A sharp suite of short tales, ranging from funny to terrifying to surreal to touching, all told entirely in pantomime. Jason's clean, deadpan art style hides a wealth of emotion and human complexity, leavened with a wicked wit.
And the one Jason fans have been waiting for is the long-out-of-print "The Iron Wagon," an ingenious, atypically (for Jason) talky murder mystery set in early-20th-century Norway, adapted from a classic Norwegian novel by Stein Riverton albeit starring Jasons patented blank-eyed animal-headed characters and told in moody two-color panels.
Praise for Jason:
"When I read Jason for the first time, I was just as excited and devastated as the first time I read the poems of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Jasons work is poetry." Sherman Alexie
"One of the mediums finest storytellers." Publishers Weekly
Download an EXCLUSIVE 23-page PDF excerpt (864 KB) with pages from each story.
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"Like Pocket Full of Rain and Other Stories (2008), this fat, handsome hardcover collects some of the droll Norwegian-French graphic novelists earlier work. While all the pieces postdate the time when Jason decided to give the long, lean characters in his stories dog, bird, and cat heads, these tales are less fantastic, less parodic, and more poignant than his later stories; some ambulatory skeletons and corpses presage later obsessions, but theyre creatures of the protagonists fearful and guilty consciences rather than real. Hey, Wait... and Sshhhh! are sad life stories, one of a man haunted by the death of a childhood friend for which he feels responsible, the other wordlessly follows an ordinary guy from young manhood to death, full of the protagonists fantasies of alternative scenarios in which he wins instead of loses. The Iron Wagon, an adaptation of a classic Norwegian crime novel, is the grimmest, starkest thing Jason has ever done, as powerful as a dark Ingmar Bergman film, despite those animal heads." Ray Olson, Booklist