Jason Little is a cartoonist whose first graphic novel, Shutterbug Follies (Doubleday, $25), was published in October. Here he chooses his favorite comic books.
Little Nemo in the Palace of Ice by Winsor McCay (Dover Publications, $13). Winsor McCay is the greatest cartoonist who ever lived. His fantasy strips about the wondrously hallucinatory dreams of a little boy are pinnacles of drafting, design, and formal play. He also invented the animated cartoon as we know it.
Secret of the Unicorn (The Adventures of Tintin) and Red Rackham’s Treasure (The Adventures of Tintin) by Hergé (Little, Brown & Co., $10 each). Created in 1929, these virtuosic comics dominated the European scene for 40-odd years. Boy reporter Tintin’s adventures with Capt. Haddock, his middle-aged sidekick, are the pre-eminent example of the purest form of page-turning suspense.
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Marbles in My Underpants by Renée French (Oni Press, $18). French combines her memories of childhood with her morbid fascination with things biological, resulting in lush, highly rendered fantasy. This collection bridges her three major phases so far: ink stipple, wash, and her mature pencil style.
Crumple by Dave Cooper (Fantagraphics Books, $15). Cooper’s main topic is human sexuality, and Crumple is just dripping with it. Protagonist Knuckle, seemingly the last nice guy left on earth, struggles to survive in a world suffering from a complete breakdown in relations between the sexes.
Frank Vol. 2 by Jim Woodring (Dimensions Fantagraphics Books, $17). These stories, though wordless, possess an incredibly strong and individual literary voice. Biped cat Frank lives in an idyllic garden, but the tranquility is frequently smashed by the boorish Manhog, and occasionally by the incarnation of evil itself.
The House at Maakies Corner
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