Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review: Lost Cat

GTBT isn’t a clothing blog. It’s a terrible clothing blog. And terrible clothing blogs also happen to think they influence your lifestyle.

I’m going to tell you what to read.

You don’t like to read?

Well, I did some reading of clothing blogs that also happen to make lifestyle suggestions and guess what?

They tell me reading makes you cooler or something.

They tell you to read things like The Economist, Jonathan Franzen, Junot Diaz, and, I dunno, Ann Coulter. 

And magazines. Read a buttload of magazines.

These are all relevant things.

I think you should read comic books because they’re awesome.

Specifically, I picked up Jason’s (he apparently needs no last name) latest work, Lost Cat.

 photo lost-cat_zpsb8b1293d.jpg

I’ve been following Jason and his work for about 8 years now. Stripping story-telling bare, he relies on no impressionism that some artists rely on. He’s almost Herge in his pacing and paneling. However, where Herge is a borderline travel novel comic book (no character development, lots of regional/issue development), who the hell knows where Jason’s stories take place. 

Jason’s stories are always black, black, horrible, hilarious jokes. Existential crisis are farces as Jason plays his minimalist art in on itself. He embraces Hemingway’s zero-ending stories and lets you fill in the blanks. 

Lost Cat is a return for Jason to the clean palette. For his past few volumes, he has used color. The color sits in his books, not doing much of anything. Whereas when he uses black and white, he simplifies the story around his characters and allows your imagination to fill in the blank -- sort of like Eisner does with his impressionism but assuming a lot more capability within the reader’s mind. I like this as it allows more assumption to take place. His anthropomorphic, and apparently clavicless, characters blank expressions convey more than you or I could get out of a couple drawings. Lost Cat, by utilizing dabs of melancholy yellow, allows Jason access to visual depth that he did not have with just a black and white palette. 

Lost Cat tells the story of an idealistic detective, sort of like whatever Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight In Paris, but less curmudgeony and backward looking. The detective gets caught up in a number different storylines which are hilarious yet probably commonplace. Jason is pretty obviously influenced by old films in this work, as always but it’s more obvious here, as he picks out old film lines and names to use for his characters. Like in an old film, a cigarette is a useful tooling for skipping words but conveying meaning.

Jason claims that he intends no hidden meaning in each story. Which is probably true but I think there are certain inexplicable things he tries to get at in each story he tells.

Lost Cat won’t make you cooler. When you’re sitting in a living room and somebody asks you what you’ve been reading and you say, “I just read Lost Cat by Jason,” they will look at you and say, “Oh.” Awkward silence will be cued and then someone will hopefully get you both a drink. "Have you listened to the new Mumford and Sons albums?" you ask. She, regretting saying "no" the first time, says "yes" and then you'll both talk about shitty music that you both hate for the next 30 minutes.

Books in general won’t make you cooler. I don’t know where people got that idea. But neither will dicking around on the internet.

What will make you “EFFORTLESSLY COOL”?

I dunno, keep doing stuff and get back to me.

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