cover image Lost Cat

Lost Cat

Jason. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-60699-642-3

A humorous PI story populated by animals takes a turn toward the absurd in the newest—and longest yet—graphic novel by Jason (Athos in America). Dan, a dog detective who evokes Humphrey Bogart’s down-on-their-luck antiheroes, is consumed by a chance connection brought about when he discovers a lost cat. Dan’s normal assignments are anything but feel-good; he spies on cheating spouses with the end result that no one is happy. When he finds a cat for Charlotte, a charming bookstore owner, he connects with her instantly, and when she disappears, he continues the conversation they might have had. An introduction of aliens to the plot adds a light and strange flavor, but echoes the protagonist’s feeling of loneliness in a strange world. Jason’s artwork is charming, and he evokes a surprising amount of pathos with a cartoon dog. The plot, an enjoyable crime noir lark that gives homage to The Big Sleep, is almost incidental to the surprisingly deep story about the relationships people create in their heads. (July)