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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.”
“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.”
“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 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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The nameless protagonist of "I Killed Adolf Hitler" is a professional hitman in a world of anthropomorphic animals... a world where murder is legal, and he is frequently hired to kill unfaithful lovers, obnoxious neighbors, and others. His latest assignment, however, is unique even by the standards of his strange and macabre job -- his client wants him to go back in time and kill Adolf Hitler, and is even providing him with a time machine to ensure the job is done. But something goes horribly awry, and Hitler hijacks the machine, leaving the hitman stranded in the past. The hitman opts to wait it out, taking the "long way" to getting back to the present... but when he reunites with an ex-girlfriend in the present day in order to finish what he started earlier that day/decades ago, they both end up discovering that in a timeline without Hitler, what's changed and what's stayed the same isn't what they expect.
The artwork is quite simplistic, yet has an odd charm to it that grew on me as the book progressed. I'm not sure how this book would have worked with an ultra-realistic style, but somehow the simple linework and panel layout makes for a more intimate story, one focused more on character interaction and development than breakneck action sequences and dynamic movements. It works for the sort of story this is, right down to the animal characters -- somehow the story is able to work seriously even while it stars cats, dogs, bears, birds, and other creatures. My only complaint art-wise is that the characters don't emote much, something not helped by the blank white eyes... but perhaps that was a deliberate stylistic choice, so that we could get a feel for the emotions of the characters via speech, body language, and atmosphere.
The story itself, despite the attention-grabbing title and concept, is centered less on violent action sequences (though plenty of people do die as a result of the protagonist's job) and more on character and relationship development. The hitman and his girlfriend could have been generic flat action-movie stereotypes, but here the plot is more centered on who they are as people and how the passage of time has changed the one while the other has stayed the same. Hitler himself is more of a plot device than a character despite featuring in the title, but I found I didn't mind this -- I was too interested in exploring the dynamics of the main characters.
Word of warning -- despite the cartoony art style, this book is NOT for kids! The premise itself -- a world where murder is legal -- should tip parents off, and the book also contains graphic violence, strong language, and even opens with an explicit description of sex (text-only, not in images, but still...).
An oddball but fascinating graphic novel, it's a more introspective take on the "time-traveling to kill Hitler" idea that tends to get a more lighthearted treatment in jokes and online media, and is helped more than hindered by its simple, cartoonish art style. It's certainly made me curious about more of Jason's works -- if they're anywhere as good as "I Killed Adolf Hitler," then I'm bound to enjoy them.
Most recent customer reviews
With bone chilling coldness, minimalist graphics and dysfunctional families - the world has a darker side. Where assassination is as legit as driving.Read more