Isle of 100,000 Graves

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57

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

May 2011

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“Norwegian cartoonist Jason works with a writer for the first time, and it’s a terrific match. His hollow-eyed, animal-faced characters deliver the deadest of deadpan humor … this comic shows that the line between cute and demented is perilously thin — and lots of fun to cross over.” – Booklist

• 2002 Harvey Award Winner: Best New Talent

Five years ago, little Gwenny’s father found, inside a bottle, a map with instructions on how to reach the mysterious Isle of 100,000 Graves and its legendary treasures – and then he vanished. Now Gwenny, having stumbled across another bottle-shipped map, enlists the dubious help of a shipful of pirates, sets out to find the island, and her long-lost dad.

Little does she realize that the Isle comes by its ominous name honestly, as the location of a secret school for executioners and torturers, where apple-cheeked youngsters are taught the finer points of extracting information from prisoners… and then putting an end to their lives in a wide variety of gruesome ways. And they’ve reached the point in their studies where theory should ideally give way to practice, so an influx of uninvited visitors comes as a blessing to the faculty.

And yes, this story is a comedy. Albeit a dark one.

For the first time in his career, Jason has enlisted a writer: Fabien Vehlmann. (Vehlmann has written a number of graphic novels for the French and American markets, including an installment of the legendary
Spirou series and the three-volume Green Manor continuity, of which two volumes have been released in English.) Vehlmann has managed to interiorize Jason’s deadpan style and wit perfectly, creating a uniquely smooth and successful collaboration.

• 2012 Eisner Award Nominee: Best U.S. Edition of International Material

• Official Selection, 2012 Festival International de la Bande Desinée de Angoulême (French edition)

• Nominated to the ALA/YALSA 2012 “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” List

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REVIEWS

Comics Beat

•Comics website and blog

“Jason's stories are ultimately about the redemptive nature of love. They are usually cut from a similar cloth and yet they constantly delight and surprise me... This guy is so good.” – Heidi MacDonald

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“One of the medium’s finest storytellers.”

The AV Club

•Pop-culture website

“Jason’s blank-faced animal-headed characters reveal unexpectedly deep passion via deadpan tales of dislocation.”