On sale date: May 25, 2010
The acclaimed 2008 debut now in softcover—noirish, existential short comics.
Abandoned Cars is Tim Lane’s first collection of graphic short stories, noirish narratives that are united by their exploration of the great American mythological drama by way of the desperate and haunted characters that populate its pages. Lane’s characters exist on the margins of society—alienated, floating in the void between hope and despair, confused but introspective.
The writing is straightforward, the stories mainstream but told in a pulpy idiom with an existential edge, often in the first person, reminiscent of David Goodis’s or Jim Thompson’s prose, or of films like Pick-Up on South Street or Out of the Past. Visually, Lane’s drawing is in a realistic mode, reminiscent of Charles Burns, that heightens the tension in stories that veer between naturalism on the one hand and the comical, nightmarish, and hallucinatory on the other. Here, American culture is a thrift store and the characters are thrift store junkies living among the clutter. It’s an America depicted as a subdued and haunted Coney Island, made up of lost characters—boozing, brawling, haplessly shooting themselves in the face, and hopping freight trains in search of Elvis. Abandoned Cars is an impressive debut of a major young American cartoonist.
“The real comic book event of the summer... breathtaking... The book signals the arrival of a major new voice on the American literary landscape, with or without the illustrations.” — Print
“The stories take place along a vaguely defined stretch of scenery haunted by the ghosts of Kerouac, Marlon Brando, and Elvis, where visitors can probably hear the distant strains of a Tom Waits song or The Magnetic Fields’ Charm of the Highway Strip playing in the background... Here’s one to watch.” — The Onion A.V. Club
“[An] apt literary comparison might be to Raymond Carver... Abandoned Cars establishes Lane in the first rank of today’s emerging comics artists.” — Step Inside Design
“Lane’s beautifully crafted pen-and-ink drawing combines a master artist’s eye for detail with a predilection for the grotesque to produce a superb blending of unforgettable images and poignant meditation on life’s tragic undercurrents.” — Booklist
“When you put all the pieces together, you don’t simply get a story or a group of stories, you get a book that pulls back the curtain on the collective unconscious of a nation. ... Like the myths that it is inspired by, Abandoned Cars lingers long after reading and grows in stature as you re-live and re-tell it.” — Chad Derdowski - Mania
- Paperback / Softback
- Black and white
- 7" × 9.5"