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Yeong-shin Ma, trans. from the Korean by Janet Hong. Drawn & Quarterly, $39.95 trade paper (636p) ISBN 978-1-77046-617-3

Bruised egos, petty one-upmanship, and backbiting occupy the frustrated days and beer-soaked nights of a trio of 40-something artists sliding out of cultural relevance in this deliciously sardonic satire from Ma (Moms). The remaining members of the informal art group Arcade gather over food and drinks, sharing playlists, maligning their more successful peers, and bemoaning a marketplace indifferent to their gifts. Deuk-nyeong, 44, is a well-regarded author whose sales haven’t matched his reputation. Kyeongsu, 46, is a painter, part-time university lecturer, and scheming opportunist. Jongseop, 41, is an erstwhile rock star trying his hand at writing. Against the odds, each will manage a promising mid-career pivot, and each will do his best to sabotage their own chance at a big break. The vignettes unspool elliptically, cutting swiftly to offending slights and inebriated overreactions in an absurd cycle of scenarios that lay bare the trio’s myopia. Ma’s bold and colorful cartooning is a shift from the more nuanced matte black-and-white of Moms, with caricature more biting (though Deuk-nyeong’s kidney bean–shaped head may cause readers to puzzle). This portrait of jaundiced careerism and all-too-human frailties is as hilarious as it is infuriating, alternately reminiscent of Larry David and Hong Sang-soo. (Oct.)