cover image Baking with Kafka

Baking with Kafka

Tom Gauld. Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-77046-296-0

The typical venues for the work of Scottish cartoonist Gauld (Mooncop)—the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New Yorker—are a good indication of the sensibility behind it. Gauld’s cartoons are preoccupied with literature and the shop talk of the writers who write it, going off on tangents about specific authors and literary works, as well as narrative devices, classic literature mashed up with modern sensibilities, and self-loathing. That last topic is part of a larger preoccupation with the lonely work of being a writer that Gauld chronicles with a vicious cruelty that is obviously self-directed. He also offers vignettes of fictional characters and the books themselves as sentient victims that are put upon by their creators. The art is dominated by shadowy stick figures that inhabit often complex spaces, which somehow makes it all the more droll. (Oct.)