cover image Disquiet


Noah Van Sciver. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (136p) ISBN 978-1-60699-928-8

Housed in a nice textured, jacketless hardcover, this collection of short comics covers a wide range of settings and media. Van Sciver (Fante Bukowski) uses the 1970s modernist literary tradition, such as Raymond Carver, as the stories’ basis, which include a historical piece (“The Death of Elijah Lovejoy”), weird sci-fi (“Punks v Lizards”), and semiautobiographical fiction (“It’s Over”). These Harvey Pekar–influenced tales make use of sometimes-shocking turning points; not every piece works well, but overall it’s a charming collection. Van Sciver’s cartooning is observant and gestural, and his use of different media, including watercolor and dry ink brush over Rapidograph, give the book a bouncy variety. Having worked through a few graphic novels, including an Abraham Lincoln biography, The Hypo, Van Sciver is now mostly through the growing pains that sometimes marked his earlier narratives. Fans of literary graphic novels and McSweeney’s-type fiction should enjoy this ramshackle but thoughtful collection. (June)