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Werewolves of Montpellier Paperback – July 20, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993590
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Deadpan dialogue, drawings that move from panel to panel with the strange and deliberate force of kung fu performance art, and a subtle interweaving of humor and angst come together to make this a brief knockout of a book. Jason's cast of sober-faced dogs, rabbits, and birds interact with self-deprecating style, and the slight, absurd story, in which Sven masquerades as a werewolf and thus invites the attention of actual werewolves, holds it all loosely together. Meanwhile, Sven spends time with his neighbor, Audrey, as their relationship shifts and changes. In one scene, Audrey comforts him for his romantic loneliness. "Do women come from another planet?" she asks, rubbing his shoulders. "Yes, women come from another planet," he answers. The call and response dialogue escalates in humor while perfectly expressing the familiar tenderness between the two. Norwegian-born Jason is author of The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler. His drawings and page design are genius in their simplicity and hold the attention like a Zen koan. The surface simplicity of a Jason story obscures how much is really here.
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Review

“When I read Jason for the first time, I was just as excited and devastated as the first time I read the poems of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Jason’s work is poetry.” (Sherman Alexie)

“Starred Review. Deadpan dialogue, drawings that move from panel to panel with the strange and deliberate force of kung fu performance art, and a subtle interweaving of humor and angst come together to make this a brief knockout of a book.” (Publishers Weekly)

“What elevates Werewolves of Montpellier into the top rank of Jason’s work is the way he manages to dovetail the story’s genre elements with the emotional narrative. ... Overall, this is a pitch-perfect, expertly-crafted story by an artist who is clearly working in his comfort zone.” (Rob Clough - The Comics Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Great graphic novels.
J. Samson
The ending seemed a little forgone, and, with Jason's books, the fast-paced reading of the book made you feel... "that's it?"
Jeremy Weissenburger
Poor character development.
Radtechdee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
An artist living in Montpellier lives a quiet existence filling his sketchbook with life drawings, playing chess with his friend, going to soirees and meeting girls, and getting drunk. It's a gentle life. And then once a month he dresses up as a werewolf, stalking the rooftops, and breaking into peoples' houses. Then he meets a group of real werewolves who give him the choice - leave and never return or stay and face the consequences...

Jason's newest comic book, in full colour, has moments of whimsy like his previous book "The Last Musketeer" but is less comical. The story is really about the main character, Sven, and his on again off again relationship with Audrey, a bisexual artist with whom he is in love. It's delicately told and we're given a glimpse into the bohemian lifestyles of artists in Montpellier as well as their inner lives.

If you know anything about Jason you'll know all his characters have animal faces and rarely speak though in this book there is a lot of dialogue. It's a more subtle story than the title suggests and is full of wonderful moments between the characters like a sequence showing Sven and Audrey drunk and walking home where the panels are in disarray, or a page where the two of them are on a beach.

It's a great comic book from a fantastic artist and will be greeted with joy from all of Jason's ever-growing fan base. A fine addition to any comic book collection and a wonderful read.
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Format: Paperback
The man who goes only by Jason has been quietly sitting atop the comics world in terms of talent for the past decade. An absolute master of visual storytelling, he never uses any more words than he needs to, even going "Almost Silent" at times. Using anthropomorphic animals, Jason tells tales that at the same time seem profound and are filled with a wry sense of humor.

His latest with Fantagraphics, another in a line of paperbacks that read more like graphic novellas than graphic novels, is Werewolves of Montpellier. It tells the tale of Sven, a Scandinavian artist who ends up in Montpellier, France. Sven's shtick is that he likes to dress up as a werewolf and invade people's homes. He figures the costume will buy him enough extra time to escape if he runs into a startled homeowner.

But what Sven didn't plan for is a secret society of werewolves that don't appreciate the fact that he's bringing attention to them by making headlines. Worse yet, he's got romantic woes that take away the attention he should be paying to a very real threat to his life...or at least his humanity.

For fans of Jason, the art, pacing and characters of Werewolves of Montpellier will all feel very familiar. Aside from the fact that Jason seems to be using more color schemes this time around than before, the book seems to be in a very comfortable place in comparison to what the auteur has created with his last few books. Werewolves has an artsy feel, but also plenty of humor, even in (or especially in) its more dramatic moments.

Jason has a bit of fun twisting some panels in one particular drunken scene. It's one of a few visual tricks perpetrated in Werewolves.
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Format: Paperback
Um... I have no idea what to make of this comic. I have heard of "indie" music, and I had (I guess) heard of indie comics via the term "underground" comics or "small sellers". This is the first time I've ever read such a comic, though.

The premise is that an artist has moved to France and tries to make a living. He is terminally bored and uncertain where to take things in his life, so he decides to steal for fun. To help ensure his safety, he dresses up as a werewolf, correctly reasoning that this will throw folks off just enough to help him escape. The only problem is that there are real werewolves, and the society of them in charge of Montpellier, France, is most displeased with our protagonist's antics.

The artist's weird way of drawing made this appear like a more adult version of Duck Tales or some such world of talking animals Disney property. Everyone is a duck, dog, or other animal version of an actual person. The humor is somewhat bawdy, but what someone would really talk about with their friends. The ending, well, what?

Given the above, one might wonder why I would rate this relatively highly at 4 Stars. Well, because the quirkiness just worked in the story. In a manner of speaking, the weirdness was part of what made the comic so fun. I'm not sure if I can recommend it, as it is kinda weird, but I can say that I enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback
Giving it two stars because I got it for free otherwise this stinker gets a one. Free comic as part of a promo so I picked it up and read it right away....that being said I couldn't get halfway through this book. It was jumping all over the place, no clear idea what the heck is going on. Poor character development. Other than interesting artwork I would not pick up another book by this creative team.
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Format: Paperback
What a fun book! It has only a few pictures, barely any text, and only a single, slight plot point - one of our nutty anthropomorphic characters (which The Stranger describes as the "dog-faced descendants of Charlie Chaplin") hangs out in Paris and dresses as a werewolf so that he can be a better cat burglar (?!?!); things get complicated when real werewolves enter the picture. Well all right!!!

But this is only a very small part of the story - all else is about hanging around, playing chess, going to parties and having wry encounters with others, reading, sleeping, shaving, sketching, and roaming the Montpellier rooftops. Great stuff. Only half of the boxes (or fewer) have word balloons. Awesome!
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