Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tell Me Something by Jason Review

A poet turned pickpocket stumbles across a photo of his beloved, long since gone, in the wallet of his latest mark. As he decides to visit his former love, he discovers her home life with her abusive husband is a miserable one and the circumstances of their breakup wasn’t as it seemed. Will the two find happiness together a second time - or is their love doomed forever?

Tell Me Something is probably Jason’s shortest book and he doesn’t write long ones in the first place! This one is just as memorable and poignant though and follows his usual format of a six-panel grid, animal-headed protagonists, black and white colour scheme, and near silent storytelling. There’s even a nod to the silent movies of yesteryear when the few panels that do have dialogue in are presented in that old format: one panel picture, one panel text, one panel picture. 

I love how the story switches between the past and the present but you can easily follow the transitions because the past scenes have a black background and the present have a white background. It’s a simple but ingenious and highly effective method that totally fits the overall look and approach of the comic. Jason is able to tell his story without clutter on his pages or panels, with the bare minimum needed, and the reader is able to pick up on everything he’s trying to convey. 

Jason’s comics can sometimes have a lot of humour to them but Tell Me Something, like much of his early work, eschews comedy for moving, even sorrowful, pathos. It may not be the best story he’s produced with some sequences, like how the two lovers meet and spend their time, coming off as corny, and it’s over very quickly, but it’s still a brilliant and very enjoyable comic. Jason remains one of the modern comics masters and his work is essential reading for all fans of the medium.

Tell Me Something

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