Synopses & Reviews
A celebration of the sophistication, wit and charm found only in the singular collaboration of French cartooning team
For twenty years, French cartoonists Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian have collaborated on every aspect--sharing both the writing and drawing--of their highly acclaimed Mr. Jean short stories, creating one of the most endearing, clever, and readable series in contemporary French comics. Their award-winning, critically acclaimed series has sold more than 120,000 copies in France and has won one of comics' most coveted awards, the prestigious Angoulême Alph-Art
Award for the Best Book of the Year.
Get a Life is a collection of the early Mr. Jean stories where the reader is introduced to the life of the titular character, a laconic, single Parisian male struggling through the usual calamities of life: bachelorhood in his twenties and early thirties and the impending responsibilities of marriage, kids, and deadlines for his publisher. Mr. Jean is a typical everyman--a scholar who fancies himself a man of letters, a nostalgist whose memories carry a weight few can understand, a lover whose heart knows the greatest of burdens. Melancholic yet joyful reflections on past loves, favorite authors, marriage, and fatherhood are laid out in a breezy, comic style.
"Only a few of French cartoonists Dupuy and Berberian's delightful Monsieur Jean stories have previously appeared in English, but this volume collects translations of the earliest ones, originally published in the mid-'80s. Jean is a smalltime literary figure a novelist, translator and jazz collector on the cusp of 30, realizing that life is moving faster than he is. He's got an apartment too cheap to leave, with a landlady he can't stand; his old friends are getting married, having children, casually revealing long-ago betrayals and inflicting their own life disasters on him. He's fine at attracting women, but can't sustain a serious relationship for long. By the end of the book, he's repeatedly playing daddy to other people's babies and recalling the days when the life of an artist and culture-vulture seemed a lot easier. Dupuy and Berberian play Jean's not-quite-midlife crises as whimsy, though, with occasional goofy fantasy sequences in which he imagines himself guarding the castle of his bachelorhood. The book's artwork is breezy, simple and very European (everyone's got gigantic, near-abstract noses, and the landscapes of Paris and Lisbon are lovingly caricatured); its smooth playfulness helps to alleviate the sting of its well-aimed darts toward the moments when the bohemian life begins to curdle. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"In the new Get a Life, Dupuy and Berberian...make Mr. Jean an immensely likable ordinary homme....By the time you reach the final panel...you know you've entered a blessed little moment in comic-strip form. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"The art is clean and nicely propulsive....And Jean is a perfect character for their style....A genial and funny snapshot of the Left Bank lifestyle." Kirkus Reviews
When Monsieur Jean
first appeared in the pages of Drawn & Quarterly
, the series instantly became one of the most popular in D&Q
's history, drawing enthusiastic reviews form readers. Now, for the first time, D&Q is publishing all the early stories from this series collected together in a handsome volume.
In Get a Life, we follow one man's life through his bachelorhood in his 20s and early 30s and along the road to impending responsibilities: marriage, kids, and deadlines for his publisher. Written with a sophisticated wit and charm that is a welcome addition to North American comics and drawn in a clear-line New Yorker style, Get a Life promises to be one of D+Q's best books of the year.
Written with a sophisticated wit and charm, Get a Life promises to be one of the graphic novels of the year.
About the Author
Phillipe Dupuy and Charles Berberian have worked together for twenty years. Their most successful character is Monsieur Jean
, and to date the series has sold over 120,000 copies in France alone. In recent years their has been gaining wider recognition on this side of the Atlantic, with regular contributions to The New Yorker
and translated comics appearing in Drawn & Quarterly
and Dark Horse Presents
Phillipe Dupuy was born in Paris and Charles Berberian was born in Iraq. After having spent his childhood in Baghdad and later Beirut, Lebanon, Berberian settled as a teenager in Paris where both he and Dupuy continue to live and work.