Blutch, trans. from the French by Matt Madden. New York Review Comics, $24.95 (232p) ISBN 978-1-68137-444-4
French cartoonist Blutch (Total Jazz) dazzles in this surreal comics collection, which employs American and other cultural tropes and history as a kind of mythological inspiration. Blutch’s warped American dreams fixate on the darker side of Pilgrim and Western imagery, with sex and violence lurking throughout. “Hoboken” features a caricature of the actor Robert Mitchum as the menacing preacher character Harry Powell. “Parisse” is a slice-of-life romance story with staggeringly beautiful figure drawings. “I Want You” riffs on sexual tensions between artists and models with a funny twist ending. “Tina Mexico” seeks to capture the flavor of a small Mexican town, with a local dance building to a fever pitch as the drawings become increasingly abstract. Blutch modulates mood and tone with swirling blacks and intense scribbles as he juxtaposes stories featuring cartoony drawings with those capturing an almost romantic naturalism. Some of the stories, however, feel perfunctory and clichéd compared to the sumptuous visuals. Blutch’s exquisite art remains the primary attraction in this collection of fantasies and fragments. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/15/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Comics
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