Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Right after I added Matt Taibbi's Low Post to my blog roll on the left he stopped updating it. Was it something I said? It's more likely that he has a new book on tap soon, Smells Like Dead Elephants (I got my grubby little fingers on an advance copy of it, and will give an account of it soon).

So Matt's bumped for the duration. In his place, check out the Rake's Black Garterbelt (don't worry, it's merely a witty litblog that's quite safe for work).

Monday, July 30, 2007


Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan's new graphic novel is the story of a young taxi driver named Koby Franco who gets drawn into questions about his estranged father's possible death in a suicide bombing. Contacted by a female soldier named Numi, he not only uncovers secrets about his father, but discovers a tenuous connection with his family history and Numi's relationship with his father. Modan's minimalist linework recalls the work of Hergé, and she has a subtle way of rendering body language and emotion with a concise grace.

Cartoonist Scott McCloud once proposed that one of the reasons that we become so immersed in comics is the stripped down iconic nature of the cartoon image. Rutu Modan's work shows how that iconography, when joined with great writing, can produce work equal to any art form. This is not just a great comic book, but a great book period.

New York magazine recently ran an excerpt of the book, and an interview with Modan can be found here.