Seattle Weekly highlights Bell, Huizenga and Nilsen tour

“Graphic Art” / Seattle Weekly / Seattle Weekly Staff / February 14, 2007

Despite the success of adult-themed graphic novels like the Pulitzer Prize--winning Maus and Craig Thompson's Blankets, a first-love story that won raves in 2003, going public about your love of graphic novels still might make you feel dorky and weird. (Unlike in Japan, where businessmen and schoolkids read manga on public transit, we seem to associate the graphic novel with neurotic collectors). Three artists from Montreal-based publishing house Drawn & Quarterly may hold the power to turn the reputation of the graphic novel around. Endearing N.Y.C. cartoonist Gabrielle Bell imparts her woes, wins, and daily happenings in Lucky, a collection of three editions that span one year from May 2003 to 2004. Whether she's chronicling her romantic struggles or the frustrations of paying the bills, the minimal text paired with the simple, sweet illustrations conveys more even than other more long-winded forms of literature. Anders Nilsen, the man behind the heartbreaking Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, evokes unavoidable swells of emotion as he takes the reader through his fiancée's losing battle with cancer via postcards, notes, drawings, and writings. And Kevin Huizenga's Curses twists the everyday tightly with the out-there, exploring territory that ranges from evil monkey hallucinations to hunting down a giant bird whose feathers hold the key to curing infertility. D&Q has sent these comic genuises out on the road together, spreading the gospel of the graphic novel to the masses.

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