cover image The Louche and Insalubrious Escapades of Art d'Ecco

The Louche and Insalubrious Escapades of Art d'Ecco

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Fantagraphics, $16.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-796-4

Art d'Ecco, who has the square jaw that only comics can provide, and his triangular and singularly unintelligent roommate, Gump, stumble through misadventures shaped more by the clichés of comics and fine art than by any logic. In this collection, Roger Langridge, the Eisner and Harvey –Award–winning author of Fred the Clown , presents his early collaborations with his brother Andrew. The brothers have steeped themselves in high-brow culture and regurgitated it into sharp, boldly drawn satire—the frontispiece is a riff on the famous dadaist painting La trahison des images by Magritte. The comic is filled with characters from Art 101: the unintelligible Art Nouveau; the smiley-face Kitsch and his Pacman-like wife; the Escher-esque Esch (who has a pronounced lisp); and, of course, the title character, always drawn with straight, clean lines. The stories, from the one-pagers to the longer tales, take every convention of comics and turn them on their ear. The Langridges' work crackles with an exuberance that simultaneously entertains and baffles—sometimes careening into a secret world, but always singularly inventive. (Sept.)