Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jason Conquers America

I've been digging the new Fantagraphics release “Jason Conquers America” which commemorates ten years of the venerable publisher's relationship with the Norewegian artist. I've glanced at his work a little bit over the years and was blown away by the “Low Moon” story that was serialized in The New York Times Magazine. The new release is a collection of strips that were previously unavailable in the US along with tribute strips and interviews with Jason and colorist/collaborator Hubert (Yeah, everyone around here seems to go by one name. Jason offers a humorous take during his interview on why he's gone with only one name).

The characters in Jason's work are usually animals who, at least in “Jason Conquers America”, are not particularly verbose. Despite that, Jason has a distinct flair for telling stories that do not require words. My favorite story in the collection revolves around a crow who naps in a bed in a field and wakes up obliviously in an entirely new life. (Telling any more would spoil the revelation.) In 23 short wordless panels, Jason creates a powerful and compelling commentary that proves how powerfully expressive comics can be.

You can pick up “Jason Conquers America” at your local cool comic shop or directly from Fantagraphics.

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