Norway’s Jason Now Out With Low Moon

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosted an exhibition and book signing by internationally acclaimed comics artist Jason on Saturday, June 13. This event marked the debut of Jason's Low Moon collection, published by Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books.

Norway’s acclaimed graphic novelist Jason returns with his most eagerly awaited book yet, thanks to the inclusion of the title story, the world’s first (and likely last) chess western, originally serialized in 2008 in the New York Times Sunday Magazine “Funny Pages” section.

This 216-page hardcover book features five yarns — all brand new with the exception of the aforementioned “Low Moon,” which is collected into book form for the first time.

The new stories lead off with “Emily Says Hello,” a typically deadpan Jason tale of murder, revenge and sexual domination. Then, the wordless “&” tells two tales at once: one about a skinny guy trying to steal enough money to save his ill mother, and the other about a fat guy murderously trying to woo his true love. The reason we follow these two parallel stories becomes obvious only on the very last page, in Jason’s inimitable genre-mashing style.

“Early Film Noir” can best be described as The Postman Always Rings Twice meets Groundhog Day. But starring cavemen. And finally, “You Are Here” features alien kidnappings, space travel, and the pain and confusion of family ties, culminating in an enigmatic finale that rivals Jason’s greatest twists.

Funny, poignant, and wry, Low Moon shows one of the world’s most acclaimed graphic novelists at the absolute peak of his powers. “Each line and frame could mean nothing or could mean everything in this quiet, gripping book.” Writes the L Magazine.

Jason debuted in 1981 in the Norwegian comics magazine KonK and contributed with several short stories during its lifespan. In 1989, he was admitted to Norway’s National Academy of the Arts, the most prestigious school of its kind in Norway, where he studied graphical design and illustration. He won the Norwegian Comics Association award in 1991 for the short work pervo (perv).

In 1995, Jason published his first graphic novel, Lomma full av regn (Pocket Full of Rain). He was given the Sproing Award (the most prestigious comic book award in Norway) that year. In 1997, he started making Mjau Mjau, a semi-regular comic book featuring nothing but his own works. In 2001, he was once again awarded a Sproing, this time for Mjau Mjau 10. Since 2002, Jason has concentrated on making graphic novels.

Low Moon is published by Fantagraphics books.

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