Sunday, June 30, 2013

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack

Tom Gauld is a Scottish cartoonist who draws a weekly comic for The Guardian. His first graphic novel, Goliath, which tells the Biblical story of David and Goliath from the point of view of the Philistine giant, was very well received. This is his second graphic novel, though it is really a collection of his weekly comics and not a unified narrative.

The comics in this book are deceptively simply drawn and also very smartly presented. They depict pompous people being deflated, authors put in silly situations, as well as often surreal and intelligent observations about popular culture and literature. The titular comic consists of one panel:

Good title for a book...
 But most are a short series of panels. All last for one page and here is a sampling:

As you can readily see, Gauld is a master of one page funnies. His one panel gags are excellent, and his other short stories told in panels are well paced in terms of action and punchlines. I feel his line work is simple and elegant and rates up there with other comic virtuosos such as Gary Larson, Kate Beaton, Edward Gorey, and Nicholas Gurewitch. Gauld regularly shares his artwork on his tumblr. He also speaks more about his work and career in this interview.

Reviews I have read about this book have been very positive. The School Library Journal's Angela Carstensen praised it as "breathtaking and delicious." Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder wrote that Gauld's comics are "presented with a sense of graceful whimsy that makes his work such a delight to read." Paste Magazine's Hillary Brown summed up that this book "is awfully pessimistic and awfully cheery at the same time, which is exactly what a short-form newspaper comic should be."

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack is published by Drawn & Quarterly. They provide a preview here.


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