TALKING LINES reviewed by Booklist

Talking Lines. By R. 0. Blechman

Booklist    |    Ray Olson    |    May 12, 2010

Car too ni st- an ima tor Blechman says that his skills "are as much literary as visual." Just so. His jiggly, tentative-seeming line makes for as distinctive and personal a style as any in the graphic narrative field, but few other artist-writers match his natural, understated dialogue. His characters always look small, demotic, and, especially, vulnerable, even when they're kings, popes, and bigger animals. In these stories spanning from 1957-58 single-pages from Harvey Kurtzman's Humbug to a 2OO6 contribution to The Nation, vulnerability fuels developments and endings. In the previously unpublished "Magicat," a feline alchemist can't get his cockroach friend out of the gold they've conjured because he as much a victim as the bug - doesn't know how. The longest entry, "Geòrgie: The Story of a Man, His Dog, and a Pin," also previously unpublished, concludes more happily, though the hero has darn near endured the sorrows of Job en route. The previously published majority of the contents are mostly political satires, left wing by American standards and very droll. Everything here radiates intelligence and sophistication.

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