NYRC. Apr. 2020. 232p. ISBN 9781681374444. pap. $24.95. Rated: Teen+. literary
Iconography drawn from history and popular culture is twisted into a nightmarish vision of North American life in this wildly surreal and brazenly experimental new collection from French cartoonist Blutch (Total Jazz). The story “Hoboken” features a murder investigation, a lecherous Jimmy Stewart hiding inside a detective’s trench coat, a police officer storming a building dressed like Mechagodzilla, and a desperate battle against a malevolent apparition of Robert Mitchum. In “Ballet,” full-page illustrations of a woman dancing obscure what appears to be a cat and mouse battle between two women in the Wild West taking place in the panels behind her. In “Departure,” an anthropomorphic bear comes upon a masked figure worshipping the mummified remains of Steve McQueen, William Holden, and Charlton Heston while wandering through a subway tunnel. Blutch is a master at capturing mood and depicting bodies in motion, altering his illustrative technique as necessary to create a sense of dynamism with clean, swooping lines, or evoke dread with heavy crosshatching.
VERDICT While readers desiring a strong sense of narrative might not be impressed, Blutch successfully elicits a range of emotions through unforgettable illustrations in these stories, first published in French and available in English for the first time.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month