on February 27, 2012
I pre-ordered this ages ago, and was pleasantly surprised when it showed up on my porch this morning. The book is a bit smaller than I'd hoped, but the content more than makes up for it. Not necessarily comprehensive, it serves to showcase some of Swarte's best work, spanning the 70s to the 00s. If you're a fan of Swarte, Herge, or other claire ligne work, don't hesitate.
Swarte is far more than an imitator of Herge's "clear line" school-- his incisive, biting, satiric, at times whimsical work transcends simplistic categorization. Reminiscent of Gluyas Williams and Seymour Chwast and (sometimes) Tomi Ungerer, Swarte is in a class by himself. This welcome collection puts together, at a surprisingly low price, dozens of his strips in monotone and color. Many feature Jopo de Pojo, his protagonist of choice. In a word, brilliant. Chris Ware's intro is a plus.
Highly recommended. Not for kiddies-- some adult material here
Joost Swarte is a master of European underground comics. His works have appeared in various publications in America over the years, the vast majority of which are long out of print. Many of the works in this book have never appeared in English. Swarte spent years obsessing over the production of this book, making sure every line and color on every page are up to his high standards, and it shows: The art looks beautiful.
Content warning: This book is not for kids!