Rutu Modan is a magnificent Isreali graphic novelist whose book, Exit Wounds, was one of my favourites last year. Modan’s new book, Jamilti, is a collection of her older short stories, published by Drawn and Quarterly.
Jamilti has a gothic feel, with Alice Munro-style haunting and grotesque stories about human relationships. Modan’s comics remind me of folk tales, or urban legends—stories that you’d read in a tabloid, or would be told to you by a co-worker who swears it’s true. Modan’s art style of deceptively simple line drawings with warm colours, evokes folk art. And the images are like words—off-putting, but darkly funny.
In the title story, Jamilti, a woman momentarily escapes from with a racist fiance, and shares an intimate moment with a man who has been blown in half by a terrorist bombing.
The Panty Killer is a creepy, and absurd mystery about a serial killer who leaves the victims with their underpants over their heads. Another story, The King of the Lillies sees a plastic surgeon alter a legion of patients to look like the woman he loved.
You can read the story, Jamilti, for free here. The rest of the collection is as original, surprising and strange as this one.
For more Modan, check out her illustrated diary blog for The New York Times.