You Know You’ve Made It When…

My brother Cole is in The New Yorker.  The.  New.  Fucking.  Yorker.

Françoise Mouly, the magazine’s art editor (and wife of my hero, art spiegelman), called my brother up to ask permission to run some excerpts from his new book, Black Rat, which is hot off the presses from Koyama Press.  You can see the online feature here:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/cole-clossers-black-rat

I had the privilege of reading the galleys for Black Rat a while back, and I told Cole then that not only did I think it was the best thing he’s ever done– it was arguably the best “graphic novel” (who are we kidding here– it’s “comics”) I’d ever read.  To borrow a line from The New Yorker’s own snobbish television commercial, “it’s the best comic in the world… maybe the best comic that ever was.”  And I meant it, too.  It checks off all the boxes in everything I’m looking for in comics/comix/commix:  it’s beautiful, irreverent, clever, intelligent, avant garde, absurdist, interesting, low-brow, high-brow, existential, heartfelt, human, honest, and just goddamn good.

bowwhiteone of my favorite pages from Black Rat

In a graphic novel market dominated by simple and mediocre middle school narratives or trite and narcissistic autobiographical masturbatory fodder, Black Rat manages to transcend the garbage and detritus that is representative of the current state of comics publishing to bring something unique to the table that is at once both new and old school.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a comic so much– it’s been that long.  This is what comics should be.  This is art, goddammit.

I’m real proud of you, bro.  Real proud.

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