The first U.S. collection from a budding international superstar.The Man Who Grew His Beard is Belgian cartoonist Olivier Schrauwen’s first American book, having staked a reputation over the last decade as one of Europe’s most talented storytellers. It collects seven short stories, each a headspinning display of craft and storytelling that mixes early twentieth-century comics influences like Winsor McCay with a thoroughly contemporary voice that provokes and entertains with subversively surreal humor and subtle criticism of twentieth-century tropes and images. The stories themselves, though each stands alone, are intertwined thematically, offering peeks into the minds of semi-autistic, achingly isolated men and their feverish inner worlds and how they interact and contrast with their real environment. Though Schrauwen taps ‘surrealist’ or ‘absurdist’ impulses in his work, you will not read a more careful and precise collection of stories this year.
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This collection of stories is a wonderful example of how an animatorâs eye, artistâs hand, and storytellerâs vision can combine in a series of stylistic experiments that harken to a previous age of comics, but speak to the contemporary world we live in.Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Man Who Grew His Beard