From Publishers Weekly
Trondheim, a 2006 Angouleme Festival Grand Prize winner, creates autobiographical sketches with a Seinfeld
-ian mania for capturing the quotidian details of normal life, particularly its irritations. The sketches skirt the border of solipsism without ever quite tripping over it. Following up last year's first Little Nothings
volume, Trondheim (Dungeon
) presents a comic version of himself drawn as a humanoid chicken—other people show up as dogs, birds and cats, albeit walking on two legs and wearing human clothing—who obsesses over his health and trawls the Internet for obscure facts when he should be working. Most every scene is encapsulated on a single page, but recurring themes crop up throughout, whether it's Trondheim's love of the oddball tidbit (discovering that the average human produces six liters of saliva a day provides room for endless speculation) or following his misadventures in foreign lands as he jets off to various comics fairs. Although clearly much of this material was born out of artist's block and stretches of empty space that make up the day of those who work from home (see the subtitle), Trondheim's light wit and springlike watercolor tones give even the most curmudgeonly observations a lilting and jesting flair. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Prolific and agile French cartoonist Trondheim culls his comics blog for book publication under the collective title Little Nothings. The first LN volume, The Curse of the Umbrella, came out last year. The new one contains more one- and two-page vignettes portraying Trondheim in customary avian-headed guise on a variety of trips, most for work but sometimes as a tourist with his family. On the road or recovering from it, he discusses with other cartoonists how to play a practical joke on geologists, reassures his preadolescent son that he won’t contract AIDS in South Africa, hears out his wife when she complains about what she sees as essential detail omitted from one of his snippets about the family, provides a decent burial for one of the family pets, and continues to worry about his physicality. The tiny, full-color images are crisp, and each setup is quick and accessible. Trondheim thinks hard about his surroundings and communicates his musings just glibly enough to invite readers to pause and think as well as enjoy his Everyman worries. --Francisca Goldsmith