Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #168: Hey, Wait... by Jason

The Norwegian cartoonist Jason has many sides: his works overflow with genre elements, monsters and zombies and hardboiled detectives and time machines and werewolves and starcrossed lovers and Western gunmen and pirate treasure. But what all of those works have in common is despair and failure and death and fatalism and inevitability -- fate stalks Jason's stonefaced characters, and their endless, often wordless Stoicism is really the only reasonable reaction to living in a Jasonian universe.

Hey, Wait... is no exception -- it begins as the story of two boys, probably middle-school age or just younger, one summer somewhere. They're bored and distracted and mischievous and happy and inquisitive. They're best friends, in the kind of Jasonian world where the dead wander by and where fathers in hats take stilts to get to work.

And, since this is a Jason book, when those two boys Jon and Bjorn talk about what they want out of life -- travel, adventure, no boring factory jobs, all the rest -- we know that is exactly what they won't get. And Hey, Wait... is the story of how Jon doesn't get any of those things, and about what he does get. The why is implied, even if every step on the way isn't shown.

Saying any more would be too much: Hey, Wait... is divided into two parts, and the second part is about what Jon's life is after an event near the end of part one. So just read it: Hey, Wait... is the most naturalistic and mundane Jason graphic novel I've seen so far, about one man's dreams and what happened to them, rather than anything supposedly larger. But, honestly, what is larger than someone's entire dreams and life?

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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