On the Camino

Jason. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-6839-6021-8
Upon turning 50, esteemed Norwegian cartoonist Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler) walked the Camino de Santiago (or St. James’s Way), a 500-mile pilgrimage route to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The result is his first graphic memoir, sharing the mundanities (endless hostels, hand-washing socks), fellow travelers (a rainbow of nationalities, maybe a nun, definitely a windmill repairman), and small pleasures (meals, café con leche) encountered on the way. Jason’s internal monologue—by turns self-deprecating and matter-of-fact, shot through with social anxiety, and punctuated by moments of startling gag comedy and pop culture references, but always earnest and relatable—propels the journey. His trademark minimalism—simple black-and-white line work and deadpan anthropomorphic people—convey the essence of his experiences, though not the details. There are no grand epiphanies in the end, but this intimate travelogue of life’s little uncertainties, absurdities, and victories is a revealing addition to the Jason oeuvre. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Comics
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