“The Left Bank Gang” by Jason is a Comic Noir Graphic Novel for Lovers of Paris in the 1920s

Imagine Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and other in the 1920s literary scene in Paris personified as cats and dogs who are all cartoonists. The concept is great fun and works on many levels. Jason’s stiff drawing style and earth colors lend a heaviness to the narrative and accentuates the less glamorous reality of the writers and friends working and struggling together in that place at that time.
The conversations mirror many that have been famously recorded in books and in film. Hemingway ponders if he could do anything but make comics, awakens from nightmares of the war and seeks a monogamy from his wife which he refuses to return to her. Fitzgerald struggles to sell his work and keep his infamously fickle wife, Zelda interested in him and the town that he loves.
Where the story gets a bit off the rails is in the third section. Although it is a whimsical segment it is weaker than the other sections of the book. I refrain from going in to much detail in an attempt to avoid spoilers. Overall this is a fulfilling read and will be especially appreciated by fans of the writers and culture of 1920s Paris

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pub date: August 16, 2006
ISBN: 9781560977421
Page count: 48
Publisher: Fantagraphics

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