Werewolves of Montpellier
written by Jason
The man who goes only by Jason has been quietly sitting atop the comics world in terms of talent for the past decade. An absolute master of visual storytelling, he never uses any more words than he needs to, even going “Almost Silent” at times. Using anthropomorphic animals, Jason tells tales that at the same time seem profound and are filled with a wry sense of humor.
His latest with Fantagraphics, another in a line of paperbacks that read more like graphic novellas than graphic novels, is Werewolves of Montpellier. It tells the tale of Sven, a Scandinavian artist who ends up in Montpellier, France. Sven’s shtick is that he likes to dress up as a werewolf and invade people’s homes. He figures the costume will buy him enough extra time to escape if he runs into a startled homeowner.
But what Sven didn’t plan for is a secret society of werewolves that don’t appreciate the fact that he’s bringing attention to them by making headlines. Worse yet, he’s got romantic woes that take away the attention he should be paying to a very real threat to his life…or at least his humanity.
For fans of Jason, the art, pacing and characters of Werewolves of Montpellier will all feel very familiar. Aside from the fact that Jason seems to be using more color schemes this time around than before, the book seems to be in a very comfortable place in comparison to what the auteur has created with his last few books. Werewolves has an artsy feel, but also plenty of humor, even in (or especially in) its more dramatic moments.
Jason has a bit of fun twisting some panels in one particular drunken scene. It’s one of a few visual tricks perpetrated in Werewolves. But it’s mostly the subtle characterizations that still bring the greatest amount of personality out of his creatures that look like animals, but act so much like humans. The dialogue is fairly abundant this time around.
Overall, it’s another great book from Fantagraphics in the Jason catalog. It doesn’t shake the foundation of his style, but it does try a few new ideas and tells another fun story. Fans should know what to expect and enjoy that they get it with Werewolves of Montpellier.