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07 July 2009

Old Man Winter by J.T. Yost

Old Man Winter by J.T. Yost.
Published by Bird Cage Bottom Books.
56 page graphic novel. Black and white with color cover. $6.95.

This book by is published at least in part due to Yost earning the Xeric Award and is a one man anthology book collecting material Yost put out over the past few years. The book is the size and shape of your standard softcover graphic novel/trade paperback and is really well produced. I think the only drawback of this format is that a bookstore customer might see it and assume that it cost somewhere between $14.95 and $19.95 like Marvel and DC's vastly overpriced books. Hopefully the nice cover design will pull them in long enough for them to see that it is just $6.95. This book is well worth the price but not because of the professional production but because of the quality content. I would happily pay $7 for this material if it were just a hand folded minicomic.
I really like Yost's drawing. Just check out that page above. Fantastic right? I see a lot of my favorite guys in Yost's drawings. Joe Sacco, Tony Millionaire, Craig Thompson and just a dash of The Simpsons. His style varies from story to story and that's okay. I suspect that if we see Yost do a longer narrative we will see his drawing chops focused on one look but I like variety in the anthology book. It's a big part of the charm of an American Splendor book for me that each story will look different. One of the things I love about a collection like this that spans a few years is that you can see the artist experiment and try new things.
Yost's writing is also strong. The resounding strength that I see in all of the stories is his ability to humanize each and every character and to allow the characters to have their own voices. It's good stuff and one of the better or at least most memorable Xeric books I've had the pleasure to read.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith
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