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Low Moon Hardcover – July 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606991558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606991558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The longest American book to date (and first hardcover) from Norwegian comics master Jason, Low Moon is actually a collection of five marvelously deadpan short stories. The expressionless anthropomorphic animals who populate his comics milk understatement for all the laughs it's worth; they manage to look bored and detached even when they're brandishing swords or exploring alien planets. (Within the context of one of these stories, Yeah, sure. Why not? is a punch line.) The core of Jason's breed of humor is his protracted silences—the uproariously uncomfortable moments when his characters are standing around waiting for disaster to strike. A couple of these stories are one-joke twist-ending pieces about the intersection of lust and murder, but the other three are keepers. Low Moon itself, initially serialized in the New York Times Magazine, gnarls every convention of the western into knots—the sunrise showdown is a chess match, for one thing, and a bar fight breaks out over an inferior cup of espresso. & presents parallel tales about two people who do terrible things to get what they think they want. And You Are Here is another genre-bender, a decades-spanning micro-epic about a damaged family alternating between domestic drama and impossibly low-key space opera. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“The deadest of deadpan humor. Jason's cartoony, utterly affectless characters interact is ways that are horrible, hilarious and sad—often at the same time.” (Glen Weldon - NPR.org)

Low Moon is the best work I’ve seen from [Jason] yet... I don’t care that 'Emily Says Hello' is illustrated fiction, because it deserves to be on any year-end list of 2009’s finest crime stories, no matter what the format... One and all, these are excellently told tales from a unique talent.” (Rod Lott - Bookgasm)

“Starred Review. Norwegian-French cartoonist Jason’s new book is the first premiered in hardcover in the U.S. and contains his most minimally formatted stories... If you’re into genre fiction, have a sense of humor but no time for condescension, and haven’t encountered Jason yet, wait no longer.” (Ray Olson - Booklist)

“There's always a touch of melancholy in everything that Jason writes, but there's a bleakness in some of these stories [in Low Moon] that I haven't seen since Hey, Wait.... All told, this is still a book every Jason fan should read.” (Rob Clough - High-Low)

“I don't think I’ve ever read anything like Low Moon by Jason and I mean that in a good way... Low Moon has a brilliant almost tightrope deadpan mix of sad and funny... Jason is capable of stories with heart like no other; particularly stories with an aura of heartrending and heartbreak. Low Moon might be the second most melancholy book that I’ve read over the past year... Low Moon by Jason continues to push the medium forward and confound readers expectations with brilliant stories that defy categorization. ” (Brian Lindenmuth - BSCreview)

“There’s never been a better time to jump aboard the Jason train. As a fan of Jason, Low Moon is just terrific, far more new stuff in one place than we’ve been treated to before…This is as essential as comics gets.” (Bookmunch)

“At times both bleak and humorous, these beautifully absurd stories will leave you as speechless as one of Jason’s silent characters.” (Edward Kaye - Hypergeek)

“Jason is one of the relatively few working artists that even a jaded, cynical, complain-first critic like me will happily declare a true master cartoonist, without reservation. Jason is—how to put this?—good. Really, really, really good... So, Low Moon? It’s Jason. It’s new. It’s obviously really, really good, you know?” (J. Caleb Mozzocco - Newsarama)

“It's been a while since I read a book and thought, 'This is changing the way I think about short fiction.' So, I've been carrying the book around, like a buddy, trying to understand out what makes Low Moon so perfect.” (Heidi Broadhead - Publicola)

“Featuring tawdry sex, alien abductions, existential crises, betrayal, and a hundred and one different varieties of murder, this is a book that pretty much has it all.” (Ian Chant - PopMatters)

“I certainly prefer Norwegian cartoonist Jason to Hemingway. For one thing, Jason doesn't hate women, as far as I can tell. And for another, his new book of short graphic stories, Low Moon, has a bunch of clever touches that made me chuckle out loud.” (Noah Berlatsky - comiXology)

“Jason is sly and brilliant. [Low Moon] is highly recommended.” (Corey Blake)

“If there is a 'true truth' in relation to Jason it is that the Nordic author can resist no genre. From Western noir to science fiction of manners, everything passes through his own personal, non-transferable filter to offer these stories, parsimonious in words but full of 'depth charge.' Low Moon... is no exception to this maxim.” (Alita Comics)

“Jason's work is something to be revered... His comics are stark and morbid and often hilarious. Low Moon presents five beautifully illustrated stories that show a mastery of the craft... The stories range from violent to funny to sad, and the tragedies, murders, and pratfalls therein never seem out of the ordinary. It all fits into four rectangular panels on each page that seem like they were drawn to make you understand something more.” (Gabe Bullard - PLAYBACK:stl)

“It's impossible not to love Jason's hapless cartoon characters; they're dog-faced descendants of Charlie Chaplin in that way, usually placed into situations far beyond their control or understanding... The five stories that make up Low Moon, Jason's newest collection of comics, hark back to the classic golden age of film... Each story reverberates with the little eccentricities that Jason has built a career on (instead of gunfights, the cowboys in the title story battle over long games of chess). Remarkably, none of them seem over-the-top or manipulative.” (Paul Constant - The Stranger)

Low Moon: New Jason, from Fantagraphics. All I need to know...This guy's a treasure.” (Jog: The Blog)

“[Low Moon] has filmic moments and comic pathos that have set a new standard for me for short fiction.” (Omnivoracious)

“Once again, Jason squeezes an abundance of tension from scenes stripped of background noise and faces drained of emotion.... count me among those who feels lucky to return time and again to Jason's cartoons.” (Steve Duin - The Oregonian)

“Like many mysteries, there's something initially frustrating about the end of 'Emily Says Hello,' but it's the best by Jason for a while... it's in the new Low Moon collection... Worth it for 'Emily' alone.” (Graham Linehan)

“All of Jason’s tales in Low Moon play like a black comedy, tragic yet humorous. Maybe it’s his protagonists blank eyed stares or the fact the characters are all cute animals being put through some troubling things that give these outwardly simple and light cartoons a heavy feel. If you’re a comic fan looking for a change of pace from the tired summer/blockbuster/epic/crossover comic events then this one’s for you.” (Mishka Bloglin)

“Jason seems to delight in building firm plots, only to swiftly tug them out of sync. The resulting offbeat dynamic is punctuated with deadpan verbal, narrative and graphic punch lines, which pin the stories down at the same time that they suggest grander meanings. 'Where am I?' asks a prisoner. 'I think I'll do some gardening,' says a murdered man. 'Which way?' a son asks his father in 'You Are Here'—the heartrending emotional core of the collection—as they search for his mother on a barren planet. Each line and frame could mean nothing or could mean everything in this quiet, gripping book.” (Becky Ferreira - The L Magazine)

“Unmistakably Jason’s work: minimal dialogue, mixture of comic/serious/absurd/emotional moments, and populated by anthropomorphic animals. He uses crisp, clear lines, and despite the low number of words and the use of animals, conveys a wide range of expressions and emotions. He also effortlessly jumps, blends, and frustrates genres.” (Dave Lartigue - Dave Ex Machina)

“It’s hard to think of a modern cartoonist with a more recognizable drawing style than Norway’s Jason... But Jason’s storytelling is just as distinctive as his drawing style... [and] the artist’s narrative approach has grown more adventurous over the years. Jason’s latest collection, Low Moon, is evidence of this trend... The reader, meanwhile, just lapses into a giddy comics coma.” (Casey Jarman - Willamette Week)

“Known for his ability to convey melancholic, deadpan humor, Jason is as on top of his game as ever with this release... Each story expresses a different degree of the author’s range, mixing dark or mature themes with absurdity to varying degrees... Since it demonstrates Jason’s range and is priced fairly modestly... Low Moon makes for a great starting point for those unfamiliar with Jason’s work.” (Anthony Farruggia - Chicago Examiner)

“New Jason!...I'll read the hell out of them. I love Jason.” (Matthew J. Brady)

“Jason is an immensely skilled artist capable of manipulating his self-restricted vocabulary to stretch space and time. Low Moon moves in a slow burn as the two antagonists move closer to their eventual showdown.” (Michael Buntag - NonSensical Words)

“The longest American book to date from Norwegian comics master Jason, Low Moon is actually a collection of five marvelously deadpan short stories. The expressionless anthropomorphic animals who populate his comics milk understatement for all the laughs it’s worth…The core of Jason’s breed of humor is his protracted silences—the uproariously uncomfortable moments when his characters are standing around waiting from disaster to strike.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A collection of mostly wordless comedic pleasures.” (Richard Gehr - The Village Voice)

“Although the five stories in Low Moon appear to have very little in common, the glue that holds them together is Jason’s sublime artwork… He is an artist who understands the mechanics and timing of visual storytelling, and his highly simplified style has a grace and elegance that makes it aesthetically appealing.” (Marc Sobel - The Comics Journal)

“Now, with Low Moon, [Jason] has clenched his fist around me and won’t let me go - this is easily my favorite of his works to date... Top to bottom, I enjoyed Low Moon very much... A worthy addition to one’s bookshelf.” (Marc Mason - Comics Waiting Room)

“[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace.” (Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter)

“Though Low Moon doesn’t have the slow-building impact of Jason’s longer works, he’s still one of comics’ best storytellers, and it’s always a treat to spend time in his world of off-brand pulp clichés and not-always-so-funny animals. [Grade] B+.” (The Onion A.V. Club)

“There’s no other cartoonist who matches Jason’s somber deadpan and this serves as a great introduction to his work.” (John Mitchell - Worchester Magazine)

“Despite the funny animal surface, Jason's actually one of the best crime writers of this generation, and three of these pieces are very dark crime stories, with a sort of science fiction story about estrangement from love and the title story, a very funny parody of western movie clichés that doesn't require any knowledge of the originals. If you're feeling bleak about the bleak underbelly of human existence, this probably isn't your best relief, but if you can see the humor in it, there's pretty much no better guide working today.” (Steven Grant - Comic Book Resources)

“[Low Moon] is downright silly…as usual with Jason’s work, it entertains with delicate absurdity…Jason’s books have always has a cinematic feel, and he seems to examine this more than ever with direct tie-ins to film concepts playing major roles in several of the stories…entertaining, and fans of Jason should be more than happy to digest five new comics from one of the best in the business.” (William Jones - Graphic Novel Reporter)

“Jason is a painfully good comic creator – the man has a phenomenal knowledge of pacing, a sense of humor that’s darker than Darth Vader in a mine at midnight and deceptively simple figurework that says a shitload with very little.” (Bob Temuka - The Tearoom of Despair)

Low Moon takes 'funny animals' comics in a disturbingly deadpan direction. The bipedal canines and birds that populate these five short tales somehow convey with their blank eyes, flat expressions and minimal movements a whole seething current of emotional subtext. The title story, first serialized in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, mixes Gary Cooper frontier heroics with chess, and it is no less strange or hilarious than the other vignettes, which play with tropes lifted from science fiction, film noir and Jazz Age romance.” (Michael Berry - San Francisco Chronicle)

“It's funny, poignant, and, as always, full of insight about humanity, even though everyone is a strange animal creature. There can never be enough Jason.” (Matthew J. Brady - Warren Peace Sings the Blues)

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Customer Reviews

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Really highly recommended both for fans of Jason and comics in general.
Sam Quixote
Jason strikes a good pace with the chain of building action, and incredibly violent scenes are handled with a nonchalant, cartoonish approach.
GraphicNovelReporter.com
This makes for a really enjoyable read, because of the variation herein.
Future Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Future Man on July 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've awaited this book for months now and my expectations for it couldn't have been much higher, but it still managed to exceed them. There are actually 5 separate stories contained in this book: "Emily Says Hello", "Low Moon", "&", "Proto Film Noir", and "You are Here" which are all very different in their subject matter and style of storytelling. This makes for a really enjoyable read, because of the variation herein. I was glad to see that this book went less with the slapsticky style of the recent "The Last Musketeer" and went back to a more serious and kind of surreal tone that were seen in "Hey, Wait" and "The Iron Wagon". Don't get me wrong though, Jason's humor still comes through in the surreality of the stories.

Its awesome to see Jason getting his works published in hardcover too, as I feel his comics are deserving of the respect. All in all, this was really enjoyable for me and I would recommend this to both established fans of Jason and people who are looking to see what he's all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Turner on September 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a masterclass in simple storytelling; the tales have great pacing, simple but powerful narrative arcs, are playful, occasionally laugh out loud.

But overall, the tone of this book is deep deep melancholy - not to be read if you are already feeling down!
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By C.J. Warrington on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
love jason's works and this hardcover bound edition is the perfect way to have several of his works in the perfect package
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By Jennifer on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few other volumes of Jason's and this one is no less good. It's surprisingly moving and subtly humorous. Low Moon contains 5 stories: Emily Says Hello, Low Moon, &, Proto Film Noir, and You Are Here. While I enjoyed each story, my favorite had to be Proto Film Noir.(less)
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