By Leroy Douresseaux
August 10, 2006 - 17:01
(#7 in the “Ignatz” collection)
Merle Belmarsh, an elderly Brit living out his life in a state of shabby gentility in America, was something of a ladies’ man when he was younger. Attending a burlesque show, he thinks he’s found the reincarnation of a dancer with whom he became infatuated during World War II. She’s Josephine, a chorus girl with romantic dreams of marriage to a lecherous English nobleman, Lord Philip. Her girl friend is apparently already “sleeping” with him. Josephine isn’t above picking up a spare lover herself.
The publisher describes Matt Broersma’s INSOMNIA as a “…comics-noir dissection of American society…” Broersma’s jittery line work emphasizes the estrangement of his characters from reality and life, and his art also picks up on the claustrophobic environs of urban landscapes they haunt. It’s noir alright, and will eagerly engage the reader of non-fantasy comic books.
Insomnia #2 is also the seventh book in Fantagraphics Books’ “Ignatz” collection of internationally produced comics that it co-publishes with Coconino Press. The Ignatz titles are half way between a single-issue, magazine-sized comic book and those old 8” x11” graphic novels that were so popular in the 1980’s. Imagine a magazine with a cardstock cover and a dust jacket.
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