cover image Cartoon Clouds

Cartoon Clouds

Joseph Remnant. Fantagraphics, $22.99 (164p) ISBN 978-160699-939-4

In this familiar graphic novel from the artist of Cleveland, readers meet fresh out of art school, sulky portraitist Seth. He fails to score the hot internships available to his trust-funded classmates, and instead drifts into fast food work and apathy. His friends amble down their own paths: one lands a job as a garage-sale picker, another organizes obnoxious hipster art shows, and Seth’s gal pal and love interest, Allison, seems to have a shot at a genuine art career. Remnant has an acerbic sense of humor and a keen ear for dialogue, but contributes little originality to a story that’s been told many, many times before. The details may be specific to the contemporary art-school scene (this generation of young artists cringes at joining yet another show of retro 1980s fan art and dreams of someday storyboarding for Adult Swim), but the story rehashes elements from countless other directionless-artist bildungsromans. For a story about the visual artist world, it’s dully drawn, consisting mostly of three-quarter shots of characters with eternally pissed-off faces. (Oct.)