Why Are You Doing This?

Overview

In this deadpan, Hitchcock-meets-Jarmusch thriller, a moody twenty-something wallowing in post-breakup depression finds himself drawn into a paranoid's worst nightmare after his best friend is murdered and the blame is pinned on him.
Imagine a long-forgotten, never-produced Alfred Hitchcock "wrong man" thriller screenplay discovered, adapted and filmed by a modern minimalist like Jim Jarmusch and you'll have some idea of the unique flavor of Jason's latest graphic novel. The ...

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Overview

In this deadpan, Hitchcock-meets-Jarmusch thriller, a moody twenty-something wallowing in post-breakup depression finds himself drawn into a paranoid's worst nightmare after his best friend is murdered and the blame is pinned on him.
Imagine a long-forgotten, never-produced Alfred Hitchcock "wrong man" thriller screenplay discovered, adapted and filmed by a modern minimalist like Jim Jarmusch and you'll have some idea of the unique flavor of Jason's latest graphic novel. The protagonist, a moody twenty-something wallowing in depression after a breakup with his long-time girlfriend, finds himself drawn into a paranoid's worst nightmare after his best friend is murdered and the blame is pinned on him. With the help of a single mother who spontaneously throws in her lot with him (not to mention her precocious daughter), he sets out to clear his name. Soon new relationships are forged, dark secrets from the past are revealed, and the real killer comes back into the picture...with a vengeance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cross Ingmar Bergman with Walt Kelly and Raymond Carver and you may have some idea of what Norwegian cartoonist Jason's work is like. In his poetic epics of loneliness, regret and quiet struggle, his use of lanky, animal-headed characters add to the feeling of detachment yet in no way cheapen the impact of his themes. In this book, Jason adds Hitchcock to his list of influences, with a "wrong man" story. Hero Alex is depressed over a breakup. A simple favor-watering plants for an out-of-town friend-leads to his viewing a murder in progress, la Rear Window, and ends with two murders and wrongly accused Alex on the lam. He finds refuge with Geraldine, a single mother, and sets out to clear his name through detective work and break-ins. Although the plot is the stuff of simple thrillers, Jason infuses it with a sorrow and yearning that give it a real human dimension. Alex is constantly asking his friends, "How many amusing or exciting anecdotes have you lived?" By the end of the book, he'll have experienced an exciting adventure himself, but the story suggests that mere experience isn't a recipe for happiness. This work solidifies Jason's reputation as one of the medium's finest storytellers. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
This starts like a typical noir thriller, and ends as an existential statement about existence. Alex is in his best friend Claude's apartment, watering the plants, when he sees a man in the window of the apartment next door. Unfortunately, the man—who has just killed somebody—sees him too. After Alex leaves, the killer watches the apartment; when Claude returns, he stabs him in the heart. Alex walks into the apartment seconds later, and thus becomes a witness to a second murder. Of course, the police think Alex is the killer. Will he be able to prove his innocence? We've all seen movies like this. I'm guessing that Alex has, also, because he acts like a character in a movie. He evades the police; falls in love with the good-looking single woman who hides him; and figures out why the murder was committed. Unfortunately, at this point reality reasserts itself, and the killer acts like a killer, and not a character in a movie. Why Are You Doing This? is well-drawn, well-written material that is actually quite funny in spots. This is a European graphic novel that has style—the characters are more realistic and the plot more sophisticated than your usual superhero fare. Older readers who like comic books will enjoy this, though they may be bummed out by the conclusion—in America, we've come to expect our happy endings. Contains profanity and violence; recommended for libraries with large collections. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Fantagraphics, illus., Ages 15 to adult.
—George Galuschak
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560976554
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/4/2005
  • Pages: 48
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (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.

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