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I Killed Adolf Hitler Hardcover – May 30, 2017
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Between the opening note of perverse sexuality and the touching tribute to the permanence of true love at the end, murder, time travel and alternate futures fill in the second act of this astonishing graphic novel. Such a tale could only be penned by Jason, the Norwegian cartoonist who mixes outré fantasy with deadpan romanticism. As in all his books, this one is populated exclusively by a cast of lanky anthropomorphic animals. The setting is a world where hit man is just another job; the hero has a dissatisfied girlfriend and a boring job knocking off people who are merely annoying—a too loud neighbor, an overbearing boss. But as usual in Jason's work, the story soon veers off in an unexpected direction when the protagonist is hired to go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler via a time machine that takes 50 years to fully charge. He only has one chance, but messes up, allowing Hitler to come to the present day. The story—perhaps inspired by the French time travel film La Jetée—takes on even more unusual twists from there, before reaching a surprising and completely satisfying denouement that solves both the hero's relationship problems and World War II. Jason continues to be one of the best cartoonists working anywhere. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Dryly riotous... Jason's minimal drawings, dominated by empty space, and his laconic pacing imply that nothing particularly significant is going on, although there is near-constant gunplay, Hitler is on the loose in present-day Berlin, and World War II is about to be eradicated from history. The effect is something like Grindhouse as rewritten by Harold Pinter.” (Douglas Wolk - The New York Times)
“Studying this comic is like peering at the gears of a finely-tuned clock, where one marvels at the way everything fits together... The way Jason is able to swing from playing events for laughs to devastating the audience with tragic, violent events is all made possible by his crisp, clean line and sense of timing... From beginning to end, I Killed Adolf Hitler may be Jason's most successful book. It's the best-constructed and executed, and filled with the sort of longing and pain common in his works, along with mining the humor to found in those sort of situations as well.” (Sequart)
“I'm reading Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler, and I'm doing this thing that I do whenever I read new stuff from Jason which is just freaking out because he's so good at what he does.” (Comic Book Resources)
“Jason's stories are ultimately about the redemptive nature of love. They are usually cut from a similar cloth and yet they constantly delight and surprise me... This guy is so good.” (Heidi MacDonald - Publishers Weekly)
“Between the opening note of perverse sexuality and the touching tribute to the permanence of true love at the end, murder, time travel and alternate futures fill in the second act of this astonishing graphic novel... Jason continues to be one of the best cartoonists working anywhere.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Brisk and extremely enjoyable... Hilarious.” (The List)
“Funny, surreal, sweet and even romantic, I Killed Adolf Hitler is an inspired, quirky lark that lingers delightfully in the mind.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“With an economy of line as well as storytelling, Jason is at the top of his game with comics like this, where lighthearted―but slightly dark―stories skim just above the surface of something deep, letting us breathe while we look down at it all.” (Jeffrey Brown - The Daily Cross Hatch)
“Jason doesn't use many words and his depictions of action are brief and demure, but there's something to be said about restraint. Also, the idea of one of history's most notorious murderers as a walking dog is disturbingly wonderful.” (PLAYBACK:stl)
“I Killed Adolf Hitler takes a simple idea and expands it outward into a surprisingly moving meditation on regret, forgiveness and how both might be effected by the opportunity to go back and do it all over again. It's another home run swing from one of Norway's finest cartoonists.” (Dirk Deppey - TCJ.com)
“This book contains enough great ideas for several different graphic novels... With this unfettered imagination and perversely warm nihilism, Jason comes across like a comic-book Kurt Vonnegut, but more focused, sophisticated, reserved, chilling.” (Sean T. Collins)
“I was expecting something offbeat and madcap (and certainly wasn't disappointed in that regard), but I was also surprised by just how emotional Jason was able to make a story about an Anthro-dog murder society and time traveling hitmen. Yeah, the entire thing is patently absurd on every level - self-consciously and humorously so - but it's also a story about the impermanence of rage and the importance of forgiveness, alongside what a goddamn twat Adolf Hitler can be when all you want to do is shoot the bastard.... [I Killed Adolf Hitler] is a quick read and very rewarding, and something I imagine I'll come back to from time to time for a while. Smart, funny and surprisingly poignant, this was very good.” (David Uzumeri - The Savage Critics)
“I Killed Adolf Hitler is a fun, silly and slightly creepy comic, a love story wrapped around a time travel paradox, dressed up with gun fighting. In short, it's a perfect comic book.” (Michael C. Lorah - Newsarama)
“A masterful story that can be read on more than one level, which is always appealing. [It] is unique and tender and will challenge any preconceptions one might have about the book.” (Chris Beckett - On the Fly Publications/Warrior27)
“Norwegian cartoonist Jason’s latest wheeze of a graphic novella invents a time-travelling professional assassin who attempts to exterminate the Fuhrer with predictably bizarre results... The deadpan humour, pared-down plotting and simple illustrations featuring Jason’s trademark zoomorphic characters make for a brisk and extremely enjoyable read.” (2012)
“[T]he deadpan expressions of the characters say more than pages of words could say... there’s a kinda sweet little love story in there about the protagonist and his girlfriend, and what they find out about themselves and each other in the process of trying to correct history.” (Thinking About...)
“Augmented with a beautifully muted colour scheme and superb control of his narrative, Jason has crafted yet another gem.” (Danny Graydon - The First Post)
“With this unfettered imagination and perversely warm nihilism, Jason comes across like a comic-book Kurt Vonnegut, but more focused, sophisticated, reserved, chilling. Each new book is like a paragraph in humanity's compulsively readable collective suicide note.” (Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat)
“[I Killed Adolf] Hitler mixes elements of classic time travel science fiction fare with personal melodrama and a strange sense of humor that's unlike anything else in comics today.” (Augie De Blieck Jr. - Comic Book Resources) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
With bone chilling coldness, minimalist graphics and dysfunctional families - the world has a darker side. Where assassination is as legit as driving. Where people hire killers to do the justice, or rather the justice they think should be delivered.
The coldness with which the "hits" are carried out are downright a blow to your guts. How a failed relationship tugs out to be fatal.
And of course the assassination of Adolf Hitler that has not gone as planned.
The protagonist may have been a merciless, without-blinking-an-eyelid executor who demands no more explanation than a paycheck. But his life comes a full circle with his girlfriend! An ending that fits the entwined plots with subplots. The story scruffs you by the neck and carries you to the ending - never thought a graphic novel could do that. Ever!
The protagonist might have been a remarkable button man, but it is Jason who delivers a perfect hit.
A literature savagery !
Note that the book begins with a bit of sexually explicit dialog, played mostly for laughs (and character/plot development). This puts it squarely in the "adult" category, even though it's pretty tame in other respects and otherwise might be suitable for a range of ages. Then again, perhaps I'm downplaying the violence, which is undercut by humor and sweetness in other parts of the story? Probably best suited for college age and above.
Also recommended: Isle of 100,000 Graves (5 stars), Werewolves of Montpellier (3.5 stars)
There's a beautiful play of the way we interpret words and images because his personified or anthropomorphized animals betray little emotions in their faces, but just pour it out of their words and body language.
This is a really good example of how an artist can infuse subtle emotion in symbolic action and dialogue.
Set in a world where assassinations are a legit business, a hitman is given the biggest job of his career: kill Adolf Hitler! But the job goes wrong and Hitler makes it to the future, stranding the hitman in the past. What becomes of them both, and what of the love of his life that the hitman leaves in the future?
Like all of Jason’s books, I Killed Adolf Hitler is wonderful but, re-reading it years later, one detail stuck out to me that hadn’t before: why did the hitman travel to a time when Hitler was in power rather than his starving artist years when no-one knew who he was? Or even better, when he was a baby? Killing him then would be simple as there’d be no lackeys around to stop him completing the hit!
Other than that, it’s your usual Jason book which is to say, profound and moving but totally deadpan and funny. The real focus of the book is the relationship between the hitman and his girlfriend though, as he was stuck in the past and had to wait 50 years to pick up where they left off, he’s now old enough to be her grandfather. Jason explores their strangely altered relationship as realistically as the situation allows and the romance feels real and never melodramatic or underplayed.
There’s something very zen and pleasantly surreal about Jason’s comics. This book is laid out in 8-panel grids and tells its story in under 50 pages. The panels feature animal-headed characters eating lunch or taking a walk or just standing there, and the story never hurries along or takes longer than it does to tell a scene, but is never boring. The art is very crisp, clean, spare and, to me anyway, absolutely perfect, especially with Hubert’s lovely colours. There’s never too much in a panel or too little - it’s always measured just right. And I loved the time travel machine design which is basically a metal orb with a chair in it and a panel with a button - it felt very classic B-movie-ish in a good way and plays into Jason’s spare drawing style.
Jason’s comics are among the best the medium has to offer, all of which I highly recommend reading if you can find them - he really hasn’t made a bad comic yet. I Killed Adolf Hitler brilliantly subverts the time travel/Hitler question into a surprisingly moving romance and a delightful read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
little graphic stories. Enjoyed and gave it to others.