I was unfamiliar with Norwegian cartoonist Jason’s earlier work, but when I saw Low Moon on the bookshelf last month something about it compelled me to pick it up. Published by Fantagraphics, Low Moon collects 5 different stories, all unrelated (yet similar in tone) with one another feature Jason’s signature anthropomorphic creatures drawn with a blank eyed stare style.
The stories that really jumped out at me were the first tale “Emily Says Hello” centered around a hitman and his employer’s willingness to go to some strange (and sexy) lengths to pay him for his work. I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to spoil the ending. But another standout is the title story “Low Moon” which was previously serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This is a surreal tale which focuses on an old west showdown that includes a Mexican standoff on a chessboard.
All of Jason’s tales in Low Moon play like a black comedy, tragic yet humorous. Maybe it’s his protagonists blank eyed stares or the fact the characters are all cute animals being put through some troubling things that give these outwardly simple and light cartoons a heavy feel. If you’re a comic fan looking for a change of pace from the tired summer/blockbuster/epic/crossover comic events then this one’s for you.- Mutant Massacre