With Carpet Sweeper Tales, [Doucet] has reordered the pages from a bunch of Italian photo comics…and inserted speech bubbles made of text from 1950s back issues of Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping, among others. The effect is something like if one of the English artist Richard Hamilton’s pop art collages was made into a comic at the direction of Gertrude Stein.The Guardian
The iconic author of My New York Diary returns with a collection of dreamy, collaged photo comics
Julie Doucet is an artist who has mastered many voices and styles, from her landmark and medium-defining early work in comics with her comic book series Dirty Plotte and the classic graphic novel My New York Diary, to her linocut and collage work in Lady Pep and Long Time Relationship. Most recently, Doucet has focused primarily on collage, crafting impeccable zines, prints, and other ephemera. In Carpet Sweeper Tales, her first new book in almost a decade, we see this multi-faceted artist combine her many talents into one genre-defying masterwork.
Though Doucet stopped drawing comics over ten years ago, here she revisits the art form, pulling images from 1970s Italian fumetti, or photonovels, to create her own collage comics. Using vintage women’s and home decorating magazines, Doucet collages a unique dialogue of love and travel between characters sitting in classic cars, driving through cities and pristine countryside. This book is the first to combine Doucet’s love of collage with her gift at comics storytelling. The result is a collection of lighthearted stories that play upon the disconnects between 1970s imagery and our modern world. Lost in translation, the dialogue is stilted, the characters alien, the mood always playful. Carpet Sweeper Tales is a milestone in a career filled with milestone achievements.
Praise for Carpet Sweeper Tales
Carpet Sweeper Tales is one sharp & culturally incisive box of yocks, liberally mixed with nonsense, and god forbid you should attempt to read it while you’re stoned – because then? … You might laugh yourself into a seizure, citizen: It’s that kind of funny.The Austin Chronicle
Doucet has already made her statement ... communication in these pages is not impossible, but from a distance it seems abstract.The Comics Journal
Carpet Sweeper Tales is comic-like, but rather than being made through lithographic prints or drawings, it is collaged from clippings from 1970s Italian photo novels.Rachel Davies, Rookie
This is an offbeat and startling new collection by a major voice in feminist and underground comics...The playful combination of visual, verbal, and even aural elements (if you read the book aloud as suggested) that make up these avant-garde collage romances display Doucet’s fine eye and ear for storytelling outside of traditional pencil-and-ink comics.Publishers Weekly
The whimsically titled pieces in Carpet Sweeper Tales offer an intriguing form of abstract storytelling... the abstract nature of the work leads the reader to seek and imagine multiple layers of meaning in the strange sounds and thoughtful visual juxtapositions.Hans Rollman, PopMatters
Cutting up those vintage magazines, [Doucet] repurposes them into absurdist scenes of men and women speaking in stilted advertising slogans and typographical nonsense. It’s like revisiting how memes must have been made before there were ever GIFs and Tumblr.Mental Floss
Carpet Sweeper Tales is what a graphic novel might have looked like if the Dadaists had gotten a hold of it.Laia Garcia, Lenny Letter
Short stories composed from photonovels and paired with exquisitely cryptic cutouts of collaged letters and words... [Carpet Sweeper Tales] gives the impression of an artist searching for delight in unexpected places.LA Review of Books
A beautiful collage comic, full of romance and drama. Its unique style of storytelling reflects Doucet’s remarkable grasp of written and visual language and culture.Ric Kasini Kadour, Kolaj Magazine
Carpet Sweeper Tales combines images from Italian fumetti, or photo novels, with text from old advertisements to create a comic book love story that is laugh-out-loud funny.Cult MTL
Doucet uses her vision to tease the work in a number of directions, from laugh-out-loud absurd humour to wry comment on gender roles….Julie Doucet has performed an act of artistic alchemy on unpromising source material to produce a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking volume.Broken Frontier