cover image Frogcatchers


Jeff Lemire. Gallery 13, $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-982-10737-6

Eisner Award–winner Lemire (Sweet Tooth) hooks the reader with a mystery in this slim, dreamy fable in which a man wakes up in a hotel room with no memory of how he got there. This scene is preceded by a seemingly unconnected one of a boy catching frogs, who sees an IV drip in the water, which segues into a series of strange images that include a chest X-ray. Together, these passages telegraph, rather unsubtly, the crux of the narrative. The man’s subsequent encounters with the frog-catching boy at the hotel and his attempts at avoiding the dreaded Frog King provide more clues. The man and the boy dodge the agents of the Frog King, enter his forbidden chamber, and escape out the window. Lemire’s scratchy lines and bursts of color in the “real world” add a visceral quality to this meditation on coping with mortality. The book’s puzzle structure points rather obviously to the pay-off; but more affecting is how Lemire simply depicts the man coming to terms with regrets and his fate. This cathartic reverie is carried off with striking visual themes, if sometimes with a heavy hand. Agent: Charlie Olsen, InkWell Management (Sept.)