The Lodger

Karl Stevens, Author
Karl Stevens, KSA (karlstevensart.com), $19.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-615-38084-1
Reviewed on: 11/15/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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A surprisingly charming slice-of-life nonfiction comic, The Lodger is part hyperrealistic sketching and part amusingly self-deprecating journal. Stevens is a 20-something artist using art as an excuse to see nude women, attempting to use art to make a little money, and trying not to let procrastination stave off making any actual art. Let go from his day job in an art museum, Karl moves to Jamaica Plain in Boston to lodge with his former teacher's family. Much to his embarrassment, he finds himself increasingly fond of domestic life—pancakes, beagles, and all—which he sheepishly tries to conceal from his bohemian friends. Experimenting with drugs and one-night stands in a halfhearted sort of way, Karl is actually happiest when he's in a committed relationship in a relatively wholesome environment. It simply doesn't fit his self-image. Stevens cites Wyeth as an influence, and you can see it in every line of the book, which looks more like a series of particularly lively painter's studies than anything you'll find in most graphic novels. Warm and heartfelt despite itself, The Lodger is an experimental comic about a less-than-experimental man. (Nov.)
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