Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jack Survives

This week Jack Survives, the definitive collection of the odd comic work of Jerry Moriarty, was released and published by Buenventura Press in a huge over-sized hardcover volume. Jack Survives is not huge in the page count sense, rather it shares dimensions with some of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library editions, Seth's George Sprott, and Spiegelman's In The Shadow Of No Towers. As Chris Ware states in his excellent introduction to Jack Survives, Jack Survives can be read in a very short period of time, but that doesn't make this a slight, forgettable work, rather it showcases how an artist can say a lot by showing very little in minimalist terms.

Jerry Moriarty, the author / cartoonist of Jack Survives, in his afterward, calls himself a paintoonist, which I think is a great new word for his kind of comic book cartooning. Moriarty was put on the alternative comic landscape map years ago by Art Spiegelman (Maus), in his comic alternative anthology Raw, and reading Jack Survives, I can't think of a better description for how to describe Moriarity's work (raw). Jack Survives doesn't have a "real" story structure (but it's not artsy-fartsy, just experimental unconnected images), instead Jack Survives gives readers a glimpse into a man going about his seemingly mundane daily life and like other great slice-of-life graphic novels, shows that daily life is often anything but mundane. I felt a wave of sadness wash over me after reading Jack Survives, but sad in a mostly good reflective way, tinged with just a smattering of remorse.

I couldn't find any online interior pages from Jack Survives to "borrow" here for this entry, but I'd like to encourage anyone who sees Jack Survives in their favorite comic book store to pick this book up and leaf through it as I think Moriarty's paintooning will speak better than the couple of hundred words I just typed.

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Happy New Comics Wednesday 12/6/17 - Batman, Superman, BIG DC Holiday Special with 11 new stories including one by Tom King!, Walking Dead, Captain America, Larime & Sylv Taylor Artist Spotlight Opening Reception edition!

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