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I Killed Adolf Hitler Paperback – October 17, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; First Printing edition (October 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560978287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978282
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Between the opening note of perverse sexuality and the touching tribute to the permanence of true love at the end, murder, time travel and alternate futures fill in the second act of this astonishing graphic novel. Such a tale could only be penned by Jason, the Norwegian cartoonist who mixes outré fantasy with deadpan romanticism. As in all his books, this one is populated exclusively by a cast of lanky anthropomorphic animals. The setting is a world where hit man is just another job; the hero has a dissatisfied girlfriend and a boring job knocking off people who are merely annoying—a too loud neighbor, an overbearing boss. But as usual in Jason's work, the story soon veers off in an unexpected direction when the protagonist is hired to go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler via a time machine that takes 50 years to fully charge. He only has one chance, but messes up, allowing Hitler to come to the present day. The story—perhaps inspired by the French time travel film La Jetée—takes on even more unusual twists from there, before reaching a surprising and completely satisfying denouement that solves both the hero's relationship problems and World War II. Jason continues to be one of the best cartoonists working anywhere. (Oct.)
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Review

“Norwegian cartoonist Jason’s latest wheeze of a graphic novella invents a time-travelling professional assassin who attempts to exterminate the Fuhrer with predictably bizarre results... The deadpan humour, pared-down plotting and simple illustrations featuring Jason’s trademark zoomorphic characters make for a brisk and extremely enjoyable read.” (2012)

“Studying this comic is like peering at the gears of a finely-tuned clock, where one marvels at the way everything fits together... The way Jason is able to swing from playing events for laughs to devastating the audience with tragic, violent events is all made possible by his crisp, clean line and sense of timing... From beginning to end, I Killed Adolf Hitler may be Jason's most successful book. It's the best-constructed and executed, and filled with the sort of longing and pain common in his works, along with mining the humor to found in those sort of situations as well.” (Sequart)

I Killed Adolf Hitler takes a simple idea and expands it outward into a surprisingly moving meditation on regret, forgiveness and how both might be effected by the opportunity to go back and do it all over again. It's another home run swing from one of Norway's finest cartoonists.” (Dirk Deppey - TCJ.com)

“Brisk and extremely enjoyable... Hilarious.” (The List)

I Killed Adolf Hitler is a fun, silly and slightly creepy comic, a love story wrapped around a time travel paradox, dressed up with gun fighting. In short, it's a perfect comic book.” (Michael C. Lorah - Newsarama)

“Jason doesn't use many words and his depictions of action are brief and demure, but there's something to be said about restraint. Also, the idea of one of history's most notorious murderers as a walking dog is disturbingly wonderful.” (PLAYBACK:stl)

“Augmented with a beautifully muted colour scheme and superb control of his narrative, Jason has crafted yet another gem.” (Danny Graydon - The First Post)

“This book contains enough great ideas for several different graphic novels... With this unfettered imagination and perversely warm nihilism, Jason comes across like a comic-book Kurt Vonnegut, but more focused, sophisticated, reserved, chilling.” (Sean T. Collins)

“Jason's stories are ultimately about the redemptive nature of love. They are usually cut from a similar cloth and yet they constantly delight and surprise me... This guy is so good.” (Heidi MacDonald - Publishers Weekly)

“Between the opening note of perverse sexuality and the touching tribute to the permanence of true love at the end, murder, time travel and alternate futures fill in the second act of this astonishing graphic novel... Jason continues to be one of the best cartoonists working anywhere.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[T]he deadpan expressions of the characters say more than pages of words could say... there’s a kinda sweet little love story in there about the protagonist and his girlfriend, and what they find out about themselves and each other in the process of trying to correct history.” (Thinking About...)

“Dryly riotous... Jason's minimal drawings, dominated by empty space, and his laconic pacing imply that nothing particularly significant is going on, although there is near-constant gunplay, Hitler is on the loose in present-day Berlin, and World War II is about to be eradicated from history. The effect is something like Grindhouse as rewritten by Harold Pinter.” (Douglas Wolk - The New York Times)

“I was expecting something offbeat and madcap (and certainly wasn't disappointed in that regard), but I was also surprised by just how emotional Jason was able to make a story about an Anthro-dog murder society and time traveling hitmen. Yeah, the entire thing is patently absurd on every level - self-consciously and humorously so - but it's also a story about the impermanence of rage and the importance of forgiveness, alongside what a goddamn twat Adolf Hitler can be when all you want to do is shoot the bastard.... [I Killed Adolf Hitler] is a quick read and very rewarding, and something I imagine I'll come back to from time to time for a while. Smart, funny and surprisingly poignant, this was very good.” (David Uzumeri - The Savage Critics)

“I'm reading Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler, and I'm doing this thing that I do whenever I read new stuff from Jason which is just freaking out because he's so good at what he does.” (Comic Book Resources)

“[I Killed Adolf] Hitler mixes elements of classic time travel science fiction fare with personal melodrama and a strange sense of humor that's unlike anything else in comics today.” (Augie De Blieck Jr. - Comic Book Resources)

“Funny, surreal, sweet and even romantic, I Killed Adolf Hitler is an inspired, quirky lark that lingers delightfully in the mind.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“With an economy of line as well as storytelling, Jason is at the top of his game with comics like this, where lighthearted—but slightly dark—stories skim just above the surface of something deep, letting us breathe while we look down at it all.” (Jeffrey Brown - The Daily Cross Hatch)

“A masterful story that can be read on more than one level, which is always appealing. [It] is unique and tender and will challenge any preconceptions one might have about the book.” (Chris Beckett - On the Fly Publications/Warrior27)

“With this unfettered imagination and perversely warm nihilism, Jason comes across like a comic-book Kurt Vonnegut, but more focused, sophisticated, reserved, chilling.  Each new book is like a paragraph in humanity's compulsively readable collective suicide note.” (Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mulligan on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Norwegian cartoonist's latest, out for some time in a French version, is a bent time-travel yarn in which a hit man from the future goes back to 1938 to try to cut Hitler's career short. This being Jason, nothing works out as planned. This being Jason, there's a poignant love story tucked inside the main "poli-sci-fi" escapade. The familiar Jason Repertory Company of flop-eared dogs and nearsighted crows is at the top of its game, lucidly conveying deep emotions with a tilt of the head or a bowed back. There's a little more dialogue than usual but seldom a wasted word, never a wasted panel. There's deadpan humor in an early sequence where guilt-ridden customers struggle to explain why they'd want to order a rub-out. With its arresting title and clever plot lines, could this be Jason's breakthrough book? It would make a more compelling movie than some of the Frank Miller fare that's out there. For people who don't know Jason, this might make a good introduction. It's not his best; he may never top his first - "Hey, Wait ..." - but nobody else will, either.
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Format: Paperback
The books by Norwegian cartoonist Jason, born John Arne Sæterøy, are as difficult to explain as their appeal. Take, for instance, I Killed Adolf Hitler, published in the United States by Fantagraphics in June 2007 and translated by Kim Thompson. This original graphic novel features Jason's usual anthropomorphic animal characters who visually echo the early, simple style of Walt Disney, but whose faces often lack significant emotional expression. The worlds the cartoonist depicts also tend to mix elements and tropes from different genres of film--in this case, Jason combines time travel, hit men, and alternative history and throws in a melancholy love story just for good measure.

The plot of I Killed Adolf Hitler is almost too simple to describe and, in fact, can probably be mostly gleaned from what I've written already. Suffice it to say, our protagonist (none of the characters have their names identified . . . except for the titular führer, of course) is hired to travel back to Nazi Germany to do the deed. And, of course, things go . . . well, not wrong. But strange. Along the way to the book's end, there's a lot of standing around, murders, talking in diners, more time travel, and trips to the library.

Did I mention that Jason's work is difficult to explain?

Nevertheless, there's something intriguing here. The pages are broken into six-panel grids, giving the story's flow a cinematic feel. This effect is aided by a lack of caption boxes and scene transitions that almost resemble a movie's "jump cuts," where suddenly one scene ends and another has begun without warning. And since Jason creates comic book mash-ups of film genres, the effect hardly seems accidental.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prem Lee Barbosa on October 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the reason I think so positively about this book is that it was my first time reading a story by Jason, but either way it was a very enjoyable read.
There's a beautiful play of the way we interpret words and images because his personified or anthropomorphized animals betray little emotions in their faces, but just pour it out of their words and body language.
This is a really good example of how an artist can infuse subtle emotion in symbolic action and dialogue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Alex on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
This has to be Jasons worst work, shamelessly grabbing on to the Hitler name when the story would have basically been exactly the same without it. Nothing of any real interest occurs in this graphic novel, boring art, minimal boring plot, I wouldn't advise buying this and I would rate zero stars if I was able to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Airswedan on October 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very interesting idea and executed very well. However, it is definitely on the short side, over in a half hour tops. Interesting idea to do it with animals, sort of removes you from the reality of the subject at hand and lets you enjoy the fiction aspect of the story. Worth checking out, though I would borrow from a friend or check it out from a local library, as its probably not something you'd go back to read again.
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By Robert C. Cumbow on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jason does the most amazing things with basic generic plot ideas garnered from movies and television. He takes them in astounding directions, and his deadpan drawing style pulls off hysterically funny moments. This is one of his best, a little graphic novella on the theme of time travel with more comic twists than you would have thought possible. This is right up there with LOW MOON and ALMOST SILENT, all three terrifically inventive funnies from one of the most devious minds working in the medium.
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Format: Paperback
When artists use alot of non sequiturs in their narrative it's usually as an all-purpose story filler that transforms the plot into a foil for their pretentiousness; Jason is the rare example that can use the comic medium in this way and be heartfelt, captivating and brilliant. It's minimalistic artistically but with a story so expansive in so few pages that it'd make Alan Moore's head explode. This is the very first book by the author I've read and I don't anticipate it being the last.
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