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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful series of vignettes of American life
When I started reading it, I couldn't stop until I was finished. The artwork was extremely well-drawn with wonderful backgrounds which keep the eyes demanding more and more, and the stories, both encountered by the cartoonist and retold by his friends, are entertaining glimpses into the lives of people from all around the country in a whirlwind tour on an unlimited bus...
Published on February 15, 2007 by fluffy

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Red Eye, Black Eye is a waste of time
I read this collection with low expectations, but it disappointed me more than I ever though possible. Other works by the author are weak as well he tends to dive in to subjects that he is not prepared for or talented in. Do not order this book!
Published 11 months ago by DThomops73


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful series of vignettes of American life, February 15, 2007
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This review is from: Red Eye, Black Eye (Paperback)
When I started reading it, I couldn't stop until I was finished. The artwork was extremely well-drawn with wonderful backgrounds which keep the eyes demanding more and more, and the stories, both encountered by the cartoonist and retold by his friends, are entertaining glimpses into the lives of people from all around the country in a whirlwind tour on an unlimited bus pass.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventuring in the Crazy American Night, February 25, 2007
This review is from: Red Eye, Black Eye (Paperback)
"The realities of my situation are catching up to me a little," says the author's character mid-way through the book. "No money, no home, no job, no future... In all the books, you travel and you have these grand epiphanies about your life and your place in the world... but none seem to be forthcoming."

Shortly after 9/11, Thor Jensen's prospects in New York dried up. What does he do? He buys a Greyhound Ameripass (the one which allows a passenger unlimited travel for x number of days) and travels from sea to shining sea (and back again) with a few bucks in his bank account and whatever he could cram into a backpack.

And, similarly to Kerouac's On The Road (written shortly after World War II), Red Eye, Black Eye is a veritable celebration of the underbelly of America from one who has been there. There are no "grand epiphanies" along the way, either. No, this is a real-life travelogue situation, with no solid plans or manufactured excitement along the way. It truly is a book about a guy on a Greyhound Bus for two months.

Yet, anyone who has traveled across this country by bus can tell you - it just ain't as simple as it sounds. There are thousands of people riding the buses each day, and travelers will have to interact with some of them in some manner whether they want to or not. And, at each stop-over point, there are peculiarities unique to the location and the "culture" as well. Mr. Jensen hits as much of this as he's able.

But this isn't just a book about the adventures of Thor Jensen - not by a long shot! Though told from his perspective, Mr. Jensen grants his creative talents to retelling some of the everyday stories recanted to him by folks who are putting him up for the night - folks he doesn't really know all that well and are therefore fascinating in their own right. We hear twisted dating stories, freaky co-workers, random bizarre encounters with the lunatic fringe, and several other memorable tales from the people along the way. In this sense, Red Eye, Black Eye could even be considered a modern man's version of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. ...Almost.

While there's plenty of mild "debauchery" and "melodrama" to go around in Red Eye (Thor purchases Percocet across the Mexican border in one sequence, and calls his landlady to coerce the money she owes him in others), Mr. Jensen relates the experiences of others in a more cohesive manner. The reader understands that the particular story being retold is the author's version thereof. No need to worry, though. Mr. Jensen's story-telling abilities are top notch, and he manages to bestow a plethora of different people's lives without making any of them feel shoe-horned into place, or sapping the individuality out of them. And instead of fluid language and poetry, we are graced with Mr. Jensen's particular style of art.

This sort of traveling experience - the life of a hobo - is clearly not for everybody. Mr. Jensen captures it, making the moment real so that others may live it vicariously for a time. There truly is no stronger reason to pick up Red Eye than that!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That couch is on fire!, March 30, 2008
This review is from: Red Eye, Black Eye (Paperback)
I enjoyed Red Eye, Black Eye. I liked traveling vicariously through the U.S.A via bus with K. Thor Jensen. Lord knows I wouldn't do it myself. I became so engrossed in the book that I had to put off sleep and read it in one long entertaining jaunt. I recommend it to anyone who has a good sense of humor and a bit of travel bug.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best comics I've read in a while, November 29, 2007
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Andrew (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Eye, Black Eye (Paperback)
I used to read some websites that K. Thor Jensen worked on in the early 2000s. I remember seeing a message board post from him saying he was going to travel around the country on a bus and asking people if he could stay at their places. I thought, "Wow, that's a pretty cool/crazy idea." Little did I know that he was going to turn the experience into a comic.

And that's pretty much it. He travels around the country with almost no money and just tries to find stuff to do. What makes this book work so well is that K. Thor and the people he encounters are pretty interesting. Every person he stays with has an interesting story to tell, which Jensen turns into a comic. Jensen also has a unique (to say the least) sense of humor which can be seen throughout the book. His drawing style is also really nice and one of a kind.

While Thor makes a couple of observations about his situation, the book never turns into some mopey dopey introspective BS. There's no epiphanies and, as far as I can tell, no real moral to the story. This is a breath of fresh air in a time when a lot of alternative cartoonists seem like they're trying to take their life experiences and turn them into some terrible indie film. Thor just lets his and the other "characters'" experiences speak for themselves and that's what makes the book so good.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Red Eye, Black Eye is a waste of time, July 27, 2013
This review is from: Red Eye, Black Eye (Paperback)
I read this collection with low expectations, but it disappointed me more than I ever though possible. Other works by the author are weak as well he tends to dive in to subjects that he is not prepared for or talented in. Do not order this book!
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Red Eye, Black Eye
Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen (Paperback - February 13, 2007)
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