Sunday, January 27, 2008



Ok. Despite the very heavy paper stock, the 1/16"-thick cover stock (with mock end flaps) and the square bindings, I think it's time to call Jason's color 'graphic novels' what the really are: ultra-deluxe comic books.

Which isn't a bad thing. They're phenomenally more expensive than your average comic book ($12.95), but they're always entertaining and well-crafted. Sometimes the stories feel a little truncated at 46 pages, but in this case 46 pages feels just about right. I mean, the world probably doesn't need more than 46 pages of a Musketeer still alive in the modern age and car-jacking a space ship to Mars in order to disable an interplanetary laser and thwart a green-skinned invasion, or does it?

Probably not, but the world does need lots of deadpan absurdist melancholy black comedies with art as exquisitely attractive as Jason's. It's nice to see that he's cranking these out and still able to hit an occasional homerun.

The book isn't genius. And it doesn't have quite the lunatic inspiration that fueled The Left Bank Gang, but it doesn't have quite the "I just don't see why" factor that I Killed Adolf Hitler had either. It's essentially Flash Gordon with a loser Musketeer, presumably because Jason wanted to use a Musketeer... and he's a loser because all his heroes are losers.

This was the funniest book he's put out in a while though. There are a lot more existentialist gags (the Ming-like emperor is the source of several) and it feels like Jason cut loose a little bit more with the art. He's not as worried about replicating Paris in every detail, and approaches many of the Martian scenes with a slightly more suggestive style.

All in all, another fun book from Jason.



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