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Why Are You Doing This?by Jason
Synopses & Reviews
Imagine a long-forgotten, never-produced Alfred Hitchcock "wrong man" thriller screenplay discovered, adapted and filmed by a modern minimalist like Jim Jarmusch and you'll have some idea of the unique flavor of Jason's latest graphic novel.
The protagonist, a moody twenty-something wallowing in depression after a breakup with his long-time girlfriend, finds himself drawn into a paranoid's worst nightmare after his best friend is murdered and the blame is pinned on him. With the help of a single mother who spontaneously throws in her lot with him (not to mention her precocious daughter), he sets out to clear his name. Soon new relationships are forged, dark secrets from the past are revealed, and the real killer comes back into the picture...with a vengeance.
"Cross Ingmar Bergman with Walt Kelly and Raymond Carver and you may have some idea of what Norwegian cartoonist Jason's work is like. In his poetic epics of loneliness, regret and quiet struggle, his use of lanky, animal-headed characters add to the feeling of detachment yet in no way cheapen the impact of his themes. In this book, Jason adds Hitchcock to his list of influences, with a 'wrong man' story. Hero Alex is depressed over a breakup. A simple favor — watering plants for an out-of-town friend — leads to his viewing a murder in progress, a la Rear Window, and ends with two murders and wrongly accused Alex on the lam. He finds refuge with Geraldine, a single mother, and sets out to clear his name through detective work and break-ins. Although the plot is the stuff of simple thrillers, Jason infuses it with a sorrow and yearning that give it a real human dimension. Alex is constantly asking his friends, 'How many amusing or exciting anecdotes have you lived?' By the end of the book, he'll have experienced an exciting adventure himself, but the story suggests that mere experience isn't a recipe for happiness. This work solidifies Jason's reputation as one of the medium's finest storytellers. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Norwegian French master of the noir graphic novel deploys a more-or-less full palette...to tell a story that an only slightly less gloomy David Goodis might have written." Booklist
In this deadpan, Hitchcock-meets-Jarmusch thriller, a moody twenty-something wallowing in post-breakup depression finds himself drawn into a paranoid's worst nightmare after his best friend is murdered and the blame is pinned on him.
- This is Jason's sixth graphic novel for Fantagraphics in four years<BR>- Jason has become one of Europe's biggest crossover success stories since his 2001 American debut
About the Author
The Norwegian cartoonist Jason combines a poker-faced minimalist anthropomorphic style with more than a passing nod to the "clear-line" ethos of Hergé. As he has shown in a series of acclaimed graphic novels, this seemingly limited approach has proven amazingly versatile, allowing Jason to create gag comedy, romantic melodramas (Tell Me Something), dramas (Hey, Wait...), and genuine thrillers (the period detective novel The Iron Wagon) — often without even the benefit of words, and using a stylishly minimalist color palette to boot.
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