The Con Artists

Drawn & Quarterly. Jun. 2022. 128p. ISBN 9781770466234. pap. $24.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
An aspiring stand-up comedian named Frank puts his plan to propel himself to international superstardom on hold when an old friend, Giorgio, is struck by a bus. Drawn to Giorgio’s self-assured charisma and affluent lifestyle, Frank leaps at the opportunity to move into his friend’s lavish home in order to aid in his recuperation. As the pair spend more and more time together, Frank begins to suspect that Giorgio’s persona may in fact be a carefully constructed façade. As someone who proudly—and frequently—espouses his devotion to absolute honesty on and off stage, Frank is quick to brand Giorgio as nothing more than a toxic phony, creating a conflict between the two men that eventually forces Frank to confront the disparity between his ideas about himself and how he actually moves through the world.
VERDICT Healy’s (Americana [and the Act of Getting Over It]) broad cartooning reveals his characters’ inner lives through gesture. His keen insight into the tension between what people want and what they actually need from one another, plus his clever dialogue, results in scenes of genuine humor and real pathos. A playfully structured, frequently hilarious character study.
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