cover image Good Night, Hem

Good Night, Hem

Jason. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-68396-461-2

The legend of Ernest Hemingway is given a laconic, witty spin in this quirky three-part biography with fantastical elements from Eisner Award–winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler). Tracking the arc of the novelist’s career, it begins in 1925 Paris then moves to Pamplona amid the crackling electricity of boozing, bed-hopping, literary striving, and fighting. Jason drops in cameos from F. Scott Fitzgerald and socialite Lady Duff Twysden, and (in a surreal twist) The Three Musketeers’ Athos. In recently liberated 1944 Paris, a lonelier and more self-aggrandizing Hemingway is at loose ends until he convinces an Army buddy to give him a plane for a Dirty Dozen–style suicide commando mission to take out Hitler with a “strike in the solar plexus of the Third Reich.” Finally, in 1959 Cuba, an old and tired Hemingway tries to tell one last story: that of Athos, the out-of-time musketeer. Through it all, Jason’s focus remains on Hemingway, as the melancholic pugilist who never felt at home no matter where or when he is. As in previous works, Jason renders his people as bipedal dogs, birds, and other creatures in human attire with pupil-less eyes, giving them all an equally haunted look. It’s a splendidly curious addition to one of the greatest bodies of work in modern comics. (Sept.)