EXIT WOUNDS, MOOMIN 2 reviewed by the NY Press

Graphic picks: from suicide bombings to Finnish hippo beasts

New York Press    |    Brian Heater    |    October 18, 2007

Whether you’re into heartfelt autobiography or silly plotlines and sarcastic one-liners, the guys and gals putting out graphic novels and comic strips continue to astound in their visual versatility and intelligent insight. We check in with a few recent and upcoming releases to make sure you didn’t miss the latest and greatest the genre has to offer.

Exit Wounds
By Rutu Modan, Drawn & Quarterly
Israeli artist Rutu Modan is no Joe Sacco—and thankfully she never tries to be. Exit Wounds is more of a frank examination of human life during wartime than a frontline, bullet-dodging adrenaline rush of a book. While suicide bombings are a fact of life in Tel Aviv—as well as the catalyst that first brings the book’s protagonists together—they become just another daily challenge amongst characters dealing with life, love, abandonment and any number of other emotions that cut across national boundaries. In the end, Modan’s Exit Wounds is less concerned with ways to die than it is with what it really means to be alive.
Oct. 21, Rutu Modan will be at JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. (at 76th St.), 646-505-4444; 6, free.

Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book Two
By Tove Jansson, Drawn & Quarterly
The most unfortunate aspect of this second volume in the collected output of Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomin strip is the knowledge of the magic that we’ve been missing out on for decades. Following the adventures of a family of hippo-like trolls, Moomin has near-Disney status in its home of Finland, with theme parks, TV shows, museums and passenger planes erected in its image. A cursory glance at this whimsical 1954-75 strip shows why. Jansson’s opus possesses all of the warmth, wonder and whimsy of the best children’s literature. Drawn & Quarterly does the series right, with a hardbound collection that might be worthy of framing, were one not so tempted to share it with kids and adults alike.

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