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Book Review < Back

Jar of Fools

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Jason Lutes
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly


Magician and escape artist Ernie Weiss is trying the ultimate trick: he wants very badly to escape from his own life. Wrapped up in a surreal and beat-down confluence of strangers and strange events, he just about manages to pull it off.

His mentor is deteriorating with age, his ex-girlfriend struggles through each day without him; add to it a con-man on the lam with his young daughter and you have a pitch-perfect work of melancholy catharsis that never collapses under the threat of dreariness or flutters away on the wings of blind hope. Memory and magic; life and love are all reflected upon as the weight of the past wraps itself around our cast and threatens to drag them all down. And yet JAR OF FOOLS somehow retains a seemingly-effortless buoyancy.

Jason Lutes burst into the medium with this astonishingly controlled and assured work of emotional richness and artistic clarity, the caliber of which many spend their entire careers trying to come near. JAR OF FOOLS is a gem, steeped firmly in the traditions of neo-realism and social fiction.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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