I really like cartoons. It could easily be a hobby, but it never became quite that. But there's some beautiful stuff out there. My 'eyes were opened' when I spent one afternoon in a cartoon store in Kreuzberg, Berlin. They had all this freaky underground stuff, and then amazingly arty stuff, and then some entertaining daily-life stuff - all of which I hadnt seen before. Musta been '95 or something. I went back there once or twice. Wonder if I could find back the name of that shop ...
Here we are: Modern Graphics
on the Oranienburgerstrasse. Great stuff.
A book I bought there for a friend of mine is still one of the most impressive I've seen. I reread it just a year or two ago when I visited her. A cartoon rewrite of Paul Auster's City of Glass
, part of his New York Trilogy
, by <looks it up - isnt the net great> Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli.
Well, I read New York Trilogy
too, and it was a dizzying concept of a claustrophobic book, turning what starts out like a regular private eye film noir kinda story into a near-mathematic breaking down of reality and identity. Yeah, that sounds heavy, and the book is, at least the second, third part. Interesting though.
Surprisingly, this graphic adaptation (is what you should call a cartoon like this, I guess) has the same intensity and depth, but balled together - and apart from reading like a spellbinder, really adds a whole second layer to the story. The drawings (simple enough drawings) add something of a second voice, as if two writers are telling the same story but from different vantage points - the drawings actually adding further meaning rather than simply visualising the existing story.
Along the way, you get the private eye story and that of its writer who loses his way, spiralling off the road of sanity as his alter ego delves into the ambiguous, disturbing tale of an abused child - all of it, so to say, ending up a mapping of madness, which is not chaos but a gradual wiping of the slate until nothing remains. It's chilling, yet you can't lay it aside. Lemme see if I can get some samples.