Graphic Novel Review – Lost Cat by Jason

Crime noir and lost animals.

Stats

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hardcover, 160 pages
  • Published August 3rd, 2013 by Fantagraphics (first published June 19th, 2013)
  • Original Title “Savnet Katt”
  • ISBN1606996428 (ISBN13: 9781606996423)Edition Language English
  • URL http://www.fantagraphics.com/lostcat

Awards

  • 1995: Sproing Award, for Lomma full av regn 2000: Sproing Award, for Mjau Mjau 10: Si meg en ting
  • 2000: Urhunden Prize for the best translated graphic novel, for Vänta lite…
  • 2002: Inkpot Award 2002: Harvey Award, Best New Talent, for Hey, Wait…
  • 2005: Brage Prize, Open Class for La meg vise deg noe…
  • 2007: Eisner Award, Best U.S. Edition of International Material, for The Left Bank Gang 2008: Eisner Award, Best U.S. Edition of International Material, for I Killed Adolf Hitler 

About

From the publisher, “A detective is walking down the street. It is raining. He sees a “Lost Cat” poster. A minute later he sees the cat from the photo. He picks it up and goes back to the poster. He calls the number. A woman answers. He turns up at her place and gives her the cat. She invites him in from the rain for a cup of coffee. They talk and find out they have a lot in common: both are divorced and living alone. Some days later he invites her out for a dinner. She accepts. He shows up at the agreed time. She doesn’t. He calls her home and knocks on her door. No answer. He asks the neighbors. They haven’t seen her. She has disappeared. He makes some phone calls and investigates, but can’t find her. He gets a new client and has to start working on a new case. In his head, he continues their conversation. Lost Cat, the new graphic novel by Jason (after years of “graphic novellas” of less than 50 pages, arguably his first genuine graphic NOVEL) is both a playful take on the classic detective story, and a story about how difficult it is to find a sister spirit, someone you feel a real connection to–and what do you do if you lose that person?”

My Thoughts

An Anthropomorphized Sam Spade like character.

As “Criminal” by Ed Brubaker is crime noir at its finest,  as it “Lost Cat” by Norwegian writer Jason. Where “Criminal” concentrates on the more violent aspects of the crime noir genre, Jason concentrates on more human emotions and interactions all within the context of a crime caper. He is a master at delving into the loneliness and isolation of his characters and despair and you see that if you read some of his other works. However, as his characters wallow in despair his writing always has a glimmer of hope at the end of the day. 

“The Lost Cat” is about finding that perfect person, the person that understands you. That person that you connect with and what happens if you let that person go? What do you do with the yearning and unrequited feelings that you feel? His anthropomorphized lead detective character finds his person, lets her go, and seeks her out again. He searches her out and finds many other people all searching for that thing that completes them. Each of the characters at one point in time experience a form of loss; a person, a painting, and a lost world.  Each of them reacts to that loss in one way or another. Just like the real world, we are all different and we all search and react differently. Jason is that he is able to take that idea and create fully realized characters with minimal language that the reader can identify with. 

Here is the weird thing about this story, I have no idea what happened over the course of it. The characters interact, there is loss and despair and there is hope but I do not understand the ending of this story or how everything comes together. I’ll save the big reveal in case you read it. Maybe I don’t need to understand it? It could be an open-ended interpretation of human isolation and longing. 

I don’t know what Jason’s intent was when writing this, but I only know how I feel after having read it. I am affected by it. His writing affected my emotions and made me think. So in that, it was a successful book for me. But, with the lack of cohesive plot, it is missing something. Maybe in six months I’ll go back and try it again with a semi-fresh set of eyes and feelings. But as it stands, it is a solid three stars. 

3 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review – Lost Cat by Jason”

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