Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte

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A career-spanning collection from the heir to Hergé.

By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator Hergé’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.

Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains will be taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)

Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from Hergé’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary “Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.” 120 pages of full-color comics

About Joost Swarte

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Joost Swarte lives in the Netherlands and online at
Published February 27, 2012 by Fantagraphics. 144 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Is That All There Is?

Publishers Weekly

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Like many of the underground comics artists of the 1970s and ’80s, Swarte worked at a right angle to mainstream style by imitating elements of it so closely that his every frame became an act of querulous subversion.

Jan 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Is That All There Is?

The Comics Journal

The frequently terrifying details of urban decay and the disturbing nonsensical aspects of Swarte’s comics are played strictly for laughs, and even in the unsettling moments before the punchlines hit, the bouncy exaggeration of every drawing shines stubbornly on the lighter side of whatever terro...

Mar 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Is That All There Is?

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