Thursday, 23 August 2012

Is That All There is? Joost Swarte

Is That All There Is? (2nd Ed.) by Joost Swarte - front cover

Fantagraphics are releasing the paperback version of Joost Swarte's collected stories next month, which I'm looking forward to picking up. Swarte adapts Herge's ligne claire style (so deeply ingrained with innocence as it is mainly used for children's stories) and subverts it through surreal subject matter.

By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator HergĂ©’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.

Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains will be taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)

Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from HergĂ©’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary“Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.”

Is That All There Is? (Softcover Ed.) by Joost Swarte - page

Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte - detail

Is That All There Is? (Softcover Ed.) by Joost Swarte - pages

Is That All There Is? (Softcover Ed.) by Joost Swarte - detail

You can buy a copy here

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