I haven’t yet gotten around to publishing my Best-Graphic-Novels-of-2008 List, but the first collection of Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings is most assuredly on it. Little Nothings is the series of collections of Trondheim’s diary comics–moments from his days being one of the most respected cartoonists in the world, and the international travel and sightseeing accompanying that recognition. Trondheim is kind enough to bring us all along with him through beautifully rendered drawings and paintings done right in his sketchbooks, mixing live- and life-drawing with after-the-fact recollections of his day–although a brief segment in the middle of the book shows just how unreliable a narrator he can be. I admit that I’m a fan of journal and diary comics anyhow, but even if they’ve never been for you I think Trondheim is an interesting character with a relaxed cartooning style and these comics will appeal beyond the subject matter; Trondheim tackles personal and introspective themes, the larger comics industry, politics and the world at large, and even breaks the fourth wall to comment on the nature of the work you’re reading–a little something for everyone. I feel quite fortunate when I see new books like this released into stores, and have specifically enjoyed the recent wave of material from Trondheim that NBM (and First Second) have brought us over the past few years. There’s a huge potential audience for this material–what family man wouldn’t want to be internationally respected in his field and travel the globe drinking with friends?–and I hope that Little Nothings finds it. Pick up your copy today.
– Christopher Butcher