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Book Review < Back

Hey, Wait...

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Jason
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

Commentary

HEY, WAIT is a bittersweet little sucker-punch of a book, a melancholy short story in two acts. Following the lazy childhood days of Jon and Bjorn, the first half of HEY, WAIT is an almost universal fantasia of boys-will-be-boys youthful adventure. They read comics, they talk about girls, they run around play. And then the first half ends - literally and metaphorically.

Talking about the story in too much detail will rob you of the surprise upon which HEY, WAIT pivots. Needless to say that by book's end, HEY, WAIT could easily occupy a space next to your Belle & Sebastian albums and that Carver collection you carried around with you for a few months after that one real bad break-up that one time. Permeated with a sadness and remorse more sophisticated than most people give comics credit for being able to achieve, HEY, WAIT fits snugly into the Sad Bastard genre without collapsing under wallowing pretense. Whereas so many graphic novels fix their mopey hipster gaze firmly down towards their thrift store shoes, HEY, WAIT has the lyricism of a fable, if lyrical fables had big downer endings.

Norwegian cartoonist Jason exercises a deft control over his craft, hopping between dialogued vignettes and silent ones with charm and grace. Each of Jason's panels and gutters drift by with an almost aimless singsong patter, and HEY, WAIT reads like Charles Schulz babysitting over a summer vacation spent playing in Kafka's backyard.

-- 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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