Tom Gauld’s Mooncop is beautiful. The quietness of the police officer’s story on a gradually emptying satellite matches Gauld’s art-style perfectly. I can’t really say much more about it besides that it is good. I read it on half a lunch break and spent the rest of the break thinking about it.
If you like Jason‘s work — I do — you’d find Mooncop very similar.
Athos in America is a book of short stories by Jason (featuring his trademark anthropomorphic animals, naturally). There’s “The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf” a science fictional story of a man and the head of his wife he’s keeping alive and trying to find a body for, “So Long, Mary Ann” a story of a prison escapee, “A Cat From Heaven” a reflexive story about Jason himself being a huge asshole to everyone, “The Smiling Horse” a noirish story of kidnapping and revenge and the titular story of Athos the musketeer hanging out in a bar talking up his exploits in the U.S.
My favourite story though was “Tom Waits on the Moon.” Each page has a character talking to him or herself for four panels, asking a lot of questions, doing a lot of self-doubting, and all coming together in the last page. It just worked really well (despite its lack of Tom Waits as a character).
I guess I went on a bit of a Jason kick there, but here’s my last review for a while. Low Moon is a collection of short stories, including one about a cowboy town where the sheriff and bad guy duel using chess (and the sheriff never wakes up without a bucket of water tossed on him). There’s also a very neat parallel story called & which has the tales of two men on facing pages but in vastly different timescales, only to end up enmeshed. I wasn’t such a fan of the Prehistoric Film Noir story becuase it seemed to rely too much on its ending, which was kind of meh. But all in all, I’m not going to complain too much because this kind of deadpan near-silent comic humour is hard to find anywhere but Jason’s mind (and pen it gets connected to).
The Last Musketeer is a Jason book about a Musketeer who doesn’t really have much to do, until aliens invade. Then he goes off to Mars and buckles some serious swash. Like a lot of Jason’s work there are unexplained assumptions (like why Athos is still alive, and that Mars is okay for walking around on) but the story is a pulp action tale with this detachment and loneliness to it. It’s great.
I have been neglecting my reviewing duties. But don’t worry, I’ve still been reading. I haven’t given up on the printed word (and image). Just been slow in typing about them. So here is a list of the books I read before coming to Australia.