Jason returns with more tales of love and loss among the dog- and cat-headed. Another all-original collection of full-color graphic novellas in the format of Low Moon, Athos in America takes its title from the lead story, a prequel of sorts to the graphic novel The Last Musketeer, in which the seemingly ageless swashbuckler turns up in a bar in 1920 New York and relates the tale of how he went to Hollywood to play himself in a film version of The Three Musketeers. Another tie-in...
Jason returns with more tales of love and loss among the dog- and cat-headed.
Another all-original collection of full-color graphic novellas in the format of Low Moon, Athos in America takes its title from the lead story, a prequel of sorts to the graphic novel The Last Musketeer, in which the seemingly ageless swashbuckler turns up in a bar in 1920 New York and relates the tale of how he went to Hollywood to play himself in a film version of The Three Musketeers. Another tie-in with a previous Jason story occurs in “The Smiling Horse,” in which the characters from the story “&” in Low Moon attempt to kidnap a woman.
Also in this volume: “The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf,” a mash-up of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, told in reverse chronological order; the Bukowski pastiche “A Cat From Heaven” in which Jason works on his comic, has a reading in a comic book store, gets drunk and makes a fool of himself; the dialogue-free (all the text occurs in thought balloons) “Tom Waits on the Moon,” in which we follow four people (one of them a scientist working on a teleportation machine) until something goes wrong; and “So Long Mary Ann,” a prison-escape love-triangle story.
Norwegian cartoonist Jason has returned with more full-color stories populated by lonely, and at times sociopathic, anthropomorphic characters. Cats, dogs, and ducks steal, fight, murder, and drink themselves into oblivion. Although brimming with black humor, the tales are far from ridiculous; the disjunction between the cute creatures and their actions often serves to highlight the despair inherent in their lives. Text is light, as the images drive the narratives. In these spare, mute panels, infused with flat oranges, greens, and browns, small movements covey great meaning and emotion. The volume includes five stories, including “The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf,” a hybrid of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The title story provides a charming prequel to Jason’s 2008 graphic novel, The Last Musketeer. Visually exciting, at times hilarious and at times devastating, Athos in America will only add to Jason’s well-deserved reputation as a star of the graphic novel world. (Feb.)
“The graphic novel’s cinematic qualities have rarely been so well wielded as they are by the artist known only as Jason.”
Boston Sunday Globe
“Although Jason’s art is attractive... it’s his grasp of sociopathy that stays with you. Jason is a master of frisson.”
“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.
Jason’s work is poetry.”
Hillary Brown - Paste
“Has Jason become more embittered and misanthropic as he’s aged [?]. . . Athos in America is up to his usual standards, full of stories that build slowly, with plenty of subtle detail in its stone-faced panels.... The execution, as it always is with both Jason and Fantagraphics, is stellar.”
Noel Murray - The A.V. Club
“Any new work from Norwegian cartoonist Jason is worthy of a comics fan’s full attention, but the new, all-original short story collection Athos in America is one of the best books of Jason’s career, which automatically makes it one of the best books of this year.”
Héctor G. Olarte - el Mundo
“If you have not read any of Jason, I can not think of a better way to start than with Athos. Most likely not be the last work of this author that passes through your hands.”
David Berry - National Post
“Besides a particularly gleeful dark humour, this collection of short stories by Norweigan artist Jason is tied together by a certain obsession with Hollywood genres . . . Jason infuses them with both a slightly tweaked pathos and a taste for melancholy macabre. ...[F]antastic stuff for sad bastards and the people who love them.”
Ian Chipman - Booklist
“What’s amazing is how much [Jason] can squeeze from so little. Though their emotional register usually falls somewhere between disappointment and death, the stories make an eclectic bunch.... Sure, Jason’s following his muse down the wormiest of rabbit holes these days, but you wouldn’t want him any less weird.”
Nick Gazin - Vice
“It's a beautiful book. This is definitely Jason's best book yet. . .”
Rob Clough - The Comics Journal
“...Jason is quite effective in modulating emotion from story to story, going from gags to violence to tragedy . . . Jason is in total control of all aspects of his storytelling, and, even after a decade straight of ambitious publishing, it seems as if he’s just getting warmed up.”
J. Caleb Mozzocco - Robot 6
“[Athos in America] is chock-full of examples of Jason’s inspired appropriation of classic trash pop culture, and his repurposing of it in formally experimental (or is playful a better word?) explorations of the human experiment... the specific magic he works is so difficult to describe in words, and so easy to communicate by simply pointing to a random volume of his work and saying, 'Hey, check this out.'”
Phil Guie - CriticalMob
“...[T]his new volume presents some of Jason's most experimental comics yet.... One thing that hasn't changed is the ways in which Jason conjures up a kind of understated humor from his somber protagonists. . . [Athos in America] shows that one of the more unique cartoonists today is continuing to evolve.”
Tucker Stone - The Savage Critics
“The 'autobio' strip in [Athos in America] is my hands-down full-stop favorite thing Jason has ever done. . . The rest of the book is totally satisfying, but I can’t pretend I didn’t read all of it with my brain obsessing over all the little beats in 'A Cat From Heaven.'”
Peter Wild - Bookmunch
“Fans will find much here to laugh at, applaud and be surprised by. If you've yet to sample the delights of Jason, there isn't a better place to start than here. . . All together a wonderful compendium of Jasonia.”
Edward Kaye - Newsarama
“Athos in America is a tour de force that showcases Jason’s immense talents as both an artist and a storyteller. These haunting stories will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Rating: 10 out of 10”
Matthew J. Brady - Warren Peace Sings the Blues
“All six of the stories in this latest volume from Europe's eminent purveyor of deadpan, blank-eyed, funny animals are quite good ... [Jason's] pushing himself to do new things and communicate through his art, and it's wonderful to watch.”
Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)
Meet the Author
Jason hails from Oslo, Norway, but currently resides in the south of France. The Harvey and Eisner Award-winner continues to create new books at a breakneck pace—his books include Werewolves of Montpellier; Low Moon; Pocket Full of Rain and Other Stories; Hey, Wait...; Sshhhh!; The Iron Wagon; What I Did (collecting the previous three volumes); I Killed Adolf Hitler; The Last Musketeer; The Left Bank Gang; Why Are You Doing This?; The Living and the Dead; Meow, Baby!; You Can't Get There from Here; Tell Me Something; and Almost Silent (collecting the previous four volumes) and (with Fabien Vehlmann) Isle of 100,000 Graves.