Cecil and Jordan in New York
By Gabrielle Bell
Drawn & Quarterly
They didn’t change the name of the title story or stick a group of actors on the cover or add the words “Soon to be a Major Motion Picture,” but timing reveals more than any of those things could—Cecil and Jordan in New York was released in an attempt to capitalize on Tokyo, a collection of film shorts recently released in theaters, a third of which was co-written by Michel Gondry and Gabrielle Bell. The lead off comic, which lends its name to this collection of short strips cherry picked from Bell’s work over the past few years, forms the basis of her segment in the film.
Let there be no mistake, however, while the release of Cecil and Jordan in New York is something of a thinly-veiled attempt to provide supplementary material to curious film-goers, it is, above all, an celebration of Bell’s work as a sequential artist. The decision on the part of the publisher to package the book as a fairly straightforward collection of comics, rather than a movie tie-in, is an attempt to create something that will outlast Tokyo’s likely relatively brief stint in limited theaters, a life that hinges on the quality of the strips contained inside. Fortunately as a cross section of some of Bell’s best work in recent years, there’s more than enough contained herein to sustain that life.