Isle of 100,000 Graves

Overview

A treasure map leads to an island with a terrible secret in Jason’s new graphic novel.
Five years ago, little Gwenny’s father found, inside a bottle, a map with instructions on how to reach the mysterious Isle of 100,000 Graves and its legendary treasures — and then he vanished. Now Gwenny, having stumbled across another bottle-shipped map, enlists the dubious help of a shipful of pirates, sets out to find the island, and her long-lost dad.
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Overview

A treasure map leads to an island with a terrible secret in Jason’s new graphic novel.
Five years ago, little Gwenny’s father found, inside a bottle, a map with instructions on how to reach the mysterious Isle of 100,000 Graves and its legendary treasures — and then he vanished. Now Gwenny, having stumbled across another bottle-shipped map, enlists the dubious help of a shipful of pirates, sets out to find the island, and her long-lost dad.
Little does she realize that the Isle comes by its ominous name honestly, as the location of a secret school for executioners and torturers, where apple-cheeked youngsters are taught the finer points of extracting information from prisoners… and then putting an end to their lives in a wide variety of gruesome ways. And they’ve reached the point in their studies where theory should ideally give way to practice, so an influx of uninvited visitors comes as a blessing to the faculty.
And yes, this story is a comedy. Albeit a dark one.
For the first time in his career, Jason has enlisted a writer: Fabien Vehlmann. (Vehlmann has written a number of graphic novels for the French and American markets, including an installment of the legendary Spirou series and the three-volume Green Manor continuity, of which two volumes have been released in English.) Vehlmann has managed to interiorize Jason’s deadpan style and wit perfectly, creating a uniquely smooth and successful collaboration.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jason and Vehlmann's story of a young girl seeking the help of pirates to track down her lost father mixes elements of grim family drama with light and dark comedy to create an engrossing story that keeps readers surprised with sudden twists in both plot and mood. Gwenny, a girl living with her abusive mother, finds a treasure chest in a bottle, identical to the one that her father found before leaving her family. Gwenny leaves home and persuades a crew of pirates to seek the treasure on the isle of 100,000 graves, but it turns out the maps are actually a trap created by a school for executioners to gather live test subjects. The execution school is played astonishingly well for laughs, as its story is told through the perspective of a young student, Tobias, who decides to help Gwenny on her quest. As a pitched battle breaks out between the pirates and executioners that threatens to destroy the school and the island, Gwenny discovers an unexpected twist in her father's disappearance. Jason's characteristic style of animal people with minimal expressions conveys a surprisingly wide array of emotions, even when one wears a hangman's hood showing only eye holes and a thin mouth. Short and yet complex, it's a strong story with unexpected laughs. (June)
Ian Chipman - Booklist
“Like Tony Millionaire’s work, this comic shows that the line between cute and demented is perilously thin — and lots of fun to cross over. Despite the multiple beheadings and (mostly) jokey torturings, this is a fairly gore-free affair, so while some may choose not to foist it on kids, its sense of whimsical brutality is right up their alley.”
Edward Kaye - Hypergeek
“Isle of 100,000 Graves is an inventive and original tale, filled to the brim with absurd and hilarious dialogue, delivered with impeccable timing by Fabien Vehlmann. The story is brought to life with wonderful artwork by Jason, and eye popping colours by Hubert. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, I don’t think I’ve laughed this much at a comic in years!”
Jonathan Rigby
“This is an absolutely hilarious adventure romp ... Jason’s hangdog art style perfectly complements the deadpan humour [Vehlmann]’s penned here. A child running rings round all and sundry is a tale that’s oft been told, but rarely with the panache and wit displayed you’ll find within these pages.”
John Seven - Worcester Magazine
“...Jason's deadpan visual style mixed with Vehlmann's absurdly dark humor make for a special tale of skullduggery. In a search for her missing father, Young Gwenny gathers pirate helpers to make way to the Hangman's Academy - where hooded youngsters are assigned gruesome tasks in order to learn the trade - thinking it will lead her to her dad. Hilarity and adventure ensue, but not without a tremendously affecting and emotionally complicated final scene, making this a wild ride in the truest sense of the term.”
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“...Vehlmann and Jason cram a surprising amount of plot and character development into this graphic novella, yet the book has a pleasantly unhurried pace and plenty of room for gags. ...the collaboration with Vehlmann was clearly quite fruitful for both artists.”
Gene Ambaum
“Jason’s deadpan, anthropomorphic characters make his books must-reads for me.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606994429
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2011
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 1,283,525
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (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.

Fabien Vehlmann’s 7 Psychopaths, illustrated by Sean Phillips (Criminal, Incognito), will be released by BOOM! Studios in English in late 2010; Vehlmann lives in Paris, France.

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