If you’ve read Fun Home or Maus, your idea of a memoir comic probably includes a lot of narration. Jason is on the opposite end of that spectrum, although not quite as far as the old silent Frans Masereel woodcut stories. A Norwegian cartoonist who lives in France*, most of his books are collections of short literary fiction. This is his first autobiographical work, and it takes place during his journey walking El Camino de Santiago in Spain. His comics are less like a film and more like a play. The “shots” stay at a middle distance and the pacing is slow and methodical. He doesn’t make grand prose statements – meaning builds as scenes layer. If you’re open to trying a different kind of comic, something that is less about downloading information to the reader and more about the experience of reading in this medium, I think Jason is a wonderful place to begin.
*I don’t know about Jason’s circumstances specifically, but a lot of cartoonists end up in France because the French have a great respect for comics as an art and literary form. American cartoonist Robert Crumb, for instance, now lives in a chateau in France.