Synopses & Reviews
A dwarf falls into a river and is taken to a place beyond space and time. A carrot takes a bath and finds itself transforming. Two reclusive mountain men rejoice when their wish for children is granted, but their sons make a terrible discovery. And throughout all these tales, the spirit of the forest walks on... Welcome to the surreal world of The Troll King, by Swedish visionary Kolbeinn Karlsson. It's a fantastic journey into the wilderness lurking right outside your town, brought to you by comics' cuddliest Viking.
"Swedish cartoonist Karlsson's first book is the closest thing comics have yet produced to, say, Devendra Banhart's music: psychedelic, shambolic, mystical, very hairy, and redolent of musk. It's low on text--there's no dialogue at all in its second half--but high on... well, any number of things. The book is a series of linked stories about various woodland monsters; its first piece concerns a pair of fur-covered, bodybuilding creatures who are married in a dance ritual witnessed by a burning wicker figurine. Karlsson's artwork has some obvious inspirations from a previous generation of art cartoonists--there's a little of Mike Diana's violent/sexual grossouts and fanatically intense mark making, a little of Jim Woodring's silent, fantastical world-building and supersaturated color palette--but it's also got its own heady aesthetic, shifting between crude, wobbly rendering and subtle attention to details of body language and facial expressions. His stories are vivid as a fever dream, very vaguely grounded in the real world (a few characters shop at a chain supermarket), but mostly sweaty, uncanny, and intuitive rather than logical: this is the kind of book whose most straightforward story involves a bulbous carrotman who wades into a hot pool and is transformed into an enormous tree. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)