NBM

More raves for Little Nothings

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, Reviews

From Comics 212:

“I haven’t yet gotten around to publishing my Best-Graphic-Novels-of-2008 List, but the first collection of Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings is most assuredly on it. Little Nothings is the series of collections of Trondheim’s diary comics–moments from his days being one of the most respected cartoonists in the world, and the international travel and sightseeing accompanying that recognition. Trondheim is kind enough to bring us all along with him through beautifully rendered drawings and paintings done right in his sketchbooks, mixing live- and life-drawing with after-the-fact recollections of his day–although a brief segment in the middle of the book shows just how unreliable a narrator he can be.  I admit that I’m a fan of journal and diary comics anyhow, but even if they’ve never been for you I think Trondheim is an interesting character with a relaxed cartooning style and these comics will appeal beyond the subject matter; Trondheim tackles personal and introspective themes, the larger comics industry, politics and the world at large, and even breaks the fourth wall to comment on the nature of the work you’re reading–a little something for everyone. I feel quite fortunate when I see new books like this released into stores, and have specifically enjoyed the recent wave of material from Trondheim that NBM (and First Second) have brought us over the past few years.  There’s a huge potential audience for this material–what family man wouldn’t want to be internationally respected in his field and travel the globe drinking with friends?–and I hope that Little Nothings finds it. Pick up your copy today.”

From Comics Waiting Room:

“Anyone who’s read CWR long enough knows that I consider Lewis Trondheim to be one of the greatest living comics talents, a man whose work is almost always transcendent ins some way. In 2008, NBM published the first collection of works from Trondheim’s art blog, and it was easily one of the finest books of the year. Now they’ve graced us with a second volume, and that’s some of the best possible news you could ask for on the graphic novel front.

THE PRISONER SYNDROME follows Trondheim on a succession of trips abroad, both for vacations and for comic conventions. What jumps out immediately is the focus on the minutiae at these stops; we open on him simply trying to avoid burning his feet on beach sand, a universal problem that Trondheim takes from the banal to the epic, laughing at his own (lack) of bravery and toughness. It’s an amusing burst of normal humanity, setting the tone for the funny stuff ahead.

What stood out for me here overall, though, was the observational quality of the writing. Trondheim is one of the most accomplished artists in the world, but he has a poetic soul with the pen. When he ruminates on what it feels like to see the moon while the sun is shining, or the certain death that awaits him if he makes one bad step to the left on the mountain trail he’s walking, or being somewhat vengeful towards a hotel that didn’t deliver on promises made, he gives you an opportunity to see who he really is as a person. The author is giving the reader a gift here; it would be rude not to accept it.

There wasn’t a single thing about this second volume of LITTLE NOTHINGS that didn’t work for me, except for the fact that there’s likely to be a wait for a third volume. Excellence.”

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