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Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

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A powerful debut graphic memoir.Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and ...

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Overview

A powerful debut graphic memoir.Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires.Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angouleme “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers.

Winner of the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Graphic Novel/Comics

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Douglas Wolk
…the book ripples with exuberance: [Lust] convincingly evokes her teenage feelings of fury and joy, and the small details of the way she experienced unfamiliar places for the first time. Lust's pen-and-ink work…depicts the stretched and crimped features of the people from whom she bummed change, the architecture of St. Peter's Basilica and the chaos of a Clash concert with equally manic panache, and her line is as seemingly unkempt but as deliberately molded as her younger self's punk-rock shock of hair.
Publishers Weekly
With the punk phenomenon so often romanticized in popular culture, it can be easy to skew or forget the realities of the time. Not for Lust, though, who chronicles even the most unsavory details of a road trip she and unstable companion Enid took along the fringes of European society in 1984. Originally released almost a decade ago in German to international acclaim, this sprawling bildungsroman follows the duo on their haphazard trek from the streets of Vienna to the Italian sea. Along the way they panhandle, hitch rides, and crash with total strangers, many of whom expect their hospitality to be reciprocated with sexual favors. Rendered with lithe and spontaneous forms washed in appropriately sickly green, Lust surveys issues of personal identity and sexuality through her various encounters with the local demimonde, as well as her frustration with a faceless and indifferent public. Her recollections willfully expose the dark side of an anarchic lifestyle, yet are void of any didactic embellishment, and instead form a genuine and nonjudgmental look at aimless youth and rebellion. And what’s truer to punk than that? (June)
Le Monde
“A youthful-looking 40-something now living in Berlin, Ulli Lust claims to have learned ‘more on the streets than in the books’… varying the rhythm and framing of her panels, populating them with her subtly stylized characters, she provides an unvarnished vision of male-female relations in which violence, drugs and sex perform a diabolical dance. And even though there are flashes of humor, this relentless story remains focused on the frustration of men and the pain of women.”
Matthias Wivel - The Metabunker
“Told with great confidence and uncomfortable frankness across a sprawling 450 pages, it is a coming-of-age narrative that inevitably places itself in the tradition of German travel literature, perhaps unwittingly joining the company of such august figures as Goethe and Hesse.”
The Metabunker
“Told with great confidence and uncomfortable frankness across a sprawling 450 pages, it is a coming-of-age narrative that inevitably places itself in the tradition of German travel literature, perhaps unwittingly joining the company of such august figures as Goethe and Hesse.”— Matthias Wivel
The Metabunker - Matthias Wivel
“Told with great confidence and uncomfortable frankness across a sprawling 450 pages, it is a coming-of-age narrative that inevitably places itself in the tradition of German travel literature, perhaps unwittingly joining the company of such august figures as Goethe and Hesse.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606995570
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2013
  • Pages: 460
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ulli Lust was born in 1967 in Vienna, Austria. Her cartooning work has mainly comprised comics reportages; Today Is the Last Day... is her first graphic novel, and her first work to be translated into English. She lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Kim Thompson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1956 and joined Fantagraphics in 1977. He lives in Seattle with his wife, his dog, and his thousands of comics.

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