Jun 16, 2009
Fantagraphics’ 2001 English translation of Hey, Wait… marked Jason’s American debut. It was a remarkably tight graphic novel—clean and funny and self-assured, as if the Norwegian artist had practically sprung into the world, fully-formed, sporting a cast of lean and stoic animal characters comprised of lines formed in the tradition of that much-celebrated European cartoonist, Herge.
In the past eight years, Jason has demonstrated a tremendous pace and consistency. Titles like Why Are You Doing This, The Left Bank Gang, and I Killed Adolf Hitler have helped him become one of the most popular European artists in the American indie comics scene.
The 2008 publication of Pocket Full of Rain shed some light on the artist that would become Jason, documenting his struggles to define himself visually through the collection of works from his early years as an artist.
Fittingly, in real life Jason is the quiet sort. Seated behind a table at the end of Fantagraphics’ booth at MoCCA, he says very little, dutifully crafting ink drawings of his anthropomorphic animals in the front cover of his latest collection, Low Moon, for the long lines of fans eager to finally catch a glimpse of the mysterious Norwegian cartoonist with a single name.
When I pull him aside for a chat out in front of the Armory building, he’s a bit hesitant, not fully confident in his ability to speak English. For the record, the artist has a much firmer grasp on the language than many of the native speakers I know. His answers come slowly but thoughtfully, in spite of an admission that he really doesn’t like to talk about making comics.
Read the rest of this entry »