Saturday, July 10, 2010

Low Moon, Part 1

While Norwegian cartoonist Jason’s stories are unremittingly downbeat, he certainly manages to evoke sympathy with his blank-eyed (think Little Orphan Annie), stringbean-like dog and duck characters.

In Low Moon, two of his stories come straight from the movies, tales of men with their backs to the wall. “Low Moon” retells High Noon, except with a chess showdown instead of gunfire, and “Proto Film Noir,” though it starts out with cavemen … or cave-dogs, I guess … becomes The Postman Always Rings Twice — except in this case the postman rings seven times.

(Yes, I know. I’ve intentionally misunderstood the meaning of the title of James M. Cain’s novel. I did it for the joke.)

But he leavens his tales with smart asides. In the title story, a deputy and a bartender — coffee drinks only, no alcohol — pass the time by naming the stars of The Magnificent Seven. (They get stuck and the sheriff has to supply the last name, Horst Buchholz.)

More in next post ….

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