Six Comic Books For Further Reading

Adventures of JodelleGuy Peellaert & Pierre Bartier

The Adventures of Jodelle

Trans. Kim Thompson

Fantagraphics 

Belgian artist Guy Peellaert’s (1934  –2008) multifaceted oeuvre included film posters (Taxi Driver), album covers (David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs), and this eye-popping, cutting-edge 1966 graphic novel confection that conflates ancient Rome and the swinging sixties in psychedelic pop-art graphics soaked in Kool-Aid colors. 

  

Approximate Continuum ComicsLewis Trondheim

Approximate Continuum Comics

Ed. & trans. Kim Thompson 

Fantagraphics

This autobiographical graphic novel by L’Association co-founder Lewis Trondheim is a witty, reflective, self-deprecating, pleasurable, and perceptive meditation on the cumulative minor crises of adulthood. 

 

The Bun FieldAmanda Vähämäki

The Bun Field

Drawn & Quarterly

One of the lights of the diverse and experimental Finnish comics scene, Vähämäki’s soft, informed graphite drawings convey a fable-like narrative that employs fluid dream logic to access the submerged emotional world of childhood. 

 

In PiecesMarion Fayolle

In Pieces

Nobrow 

This collection of short, wordless pieces offers a series of parables about relationships between men and women. Fayolle’s charming, colorful artwork beckons readers toward surreal visual metaphors and wry, incisive commentary. 

  

Is That All There Is?Joost Swarte

Is That All There Is?

Ed. Kim Thompson

Fantagraphics

Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte coined the term “clear line” to describe Tintin creator Hergé’s influential style. Swarte works in that aesthetic tradition—with added architectural rigor and the rhythms of silent film comedy—to communicate short, absurdist, subversive narratives.

  

No Man's LandBlexbolex

No Man’s Land

Nobrow 

Mononymous artist Blexbolex is a master of expressive, simplified graphics that make limited colors sing, as in his gentle, free-associative books for children (Seasons and People). No Man’s Land is, by contrast, a fantastic, miasmic, paranoid noir that takes place in the mind of a man who has just put a bullet through his brain. 

 

Bill Kartalopoulos is series editor for the Best American Comics series. He also teaches comics history and the graphic novel at Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts. He is currently working on a general history of American comics for Princeton University Press.

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