Is That All There Is?
Joost Swarte, 144 pgs, FC, Fantagraphics Books, www.fantagraphics.com, $35.00 US, HC
Legendary Dutch cartoonist/illustrator Joost (rhymes with “most”) Swarte gets a long-awaited overview of his lengthy, yet sporadic, cartooning career in Fantagraphics’ beautifully crafted collection, Is That All There Is?
Many of the strips within – often featuring the surreal misadventures of the shark fin-headed Jopo de Pojo – are being translated into English for the first time,making this book a treat for both longtime fans and those just discovering his work.
Taking visual cues from Tintin creator Hergé’s clean line style, Swarte added a healthy dose of 70s-style countercultural mores and boasted an incredible capacity for experimentation and playfulness that went above and beyond many of his peers. The stories can be equally hilarious, obscene and deranged, but thankfully they’re never dull and consistently beautiful to look at. (Matthew Daley)