- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Fantagraphics (July 20, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1606993593
- ISBN-13: 978-1606993590
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Werewolves of Montpellier Paperback – July 20, 2010
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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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“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
Top customer reviews
The basic summary: a thief breaks into people's homes wearing a werewolf mask. What happens when he is discovered by real werewolves?
But the book is more than this, as the thief is just a thrill-seeker who is seeking love from a woman who does not share the same feelings. The ending seemed a little forgone, and, with Jason's books, the fast-paced reading of the book made you feel... "that's it?"
I enjoyed many of his earlier works: "The Left Bank Gang," "The Last Musketeer," among others. This was good, but I guess I was expecting better. Try and find some of his earlier works first.
The story has only just gotten started when the book is finished and that's frustrating. It's like reading the first chapter or two of a novel.
Buried in the concept is a good story, but we didn't get it here.
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.
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. But it's mostly the subtle characterizations that still bring the greatest amount of personality out of his creatures that look like animals, but act so much like humans. The dialogue is fairly abundant this time around.
Overall, it's another great book from Fantagraphics in the Jason catalog. It doesn't shake the foundation of his style, but it does try a few new ideas and tells another fun story. Fans should know what to expect and enjoy that they get it with Werewolves of Montpellier.
-- William Jones