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The cover to Iris: A Novel for Viewers, featuring the title above an illustration of a woman with her back to the viewer singing and dancing with her arms outstretched. She wears a small, revealing leopard leotard. A man offstage reaches for her, a look of desire or maybe worry on his face. Behind him, men in matching uniforms and boots hold back a crowd of screaming people.
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Thé Tjong-Khing, Lo Hartog van Banda, Translator: Laura Watkinson

Iris: A Novel for Viewers

On sale date: June 25, 2024

Available for the first time in English, this first-ever Dutch graphic novel is a tour-de-force in all its 1960s psychedelic, pop art, and playfully erotic glory.

The characters' emotions drive the anti-capitalist, dystopian narrative in Iris: A Novel for Viewers, the earliest graphic novel produced in the Netherlands. A young woman, Iris, has her heart set on a singing career, and, despite her boyfriend Mark's warnings, is seduced by the capitalist producer, "dream lover M.G." He molds her into a megastar, which leaves Mark peddling her merch: a life-sized Iris (sex) doll. Attempts to rescue Iris come to nothing; all they accomplish is allowing the dream lover to go on playing his games.

Thé Tjong-Khing's Iris marks the peak of his career as a comics artist. He and scriptwriter Lo Hartog van Banda wanted to reach the socially motivated young people of the late 1960s, who were growing up with comics and television. Khing's style here, drawn with virtuoso élan, shows an affinity with his contemporaries, such as Guy Peellaert, and Iris herself is reminiscent of Barbarella. This edition includes an afterword by graphic designer and colorist Rudy Vrooman, which provides fascinating context about the historical and artistic significance of the work and its restoration process.


"Tjong-Khing draws on psychedelic and pop art influences, using exaggerated figures, flamboyant gestures, and vivid color to evoke an uncanny sense of movement and unbridled emotion in this fascinatingly surreal dystopian science fiction pop fantasia." — Library Journal Starred Review


Paperback / Softback
8.5" × 11.5"