Process: Jason

Over at his blog, Norwegian cartoonist Jason shares some thumbnails from his upcoming detective book Lost Cat. His comics have always seemed to me extraordinarily, almost mystically, simple; his plots don't depend on major turns, he does much with just a few thin lines, and closing the space between them is often only a matter of making a few minor changes, the wholesale movement of a character, a change in expression executed by altering just a single stroke. What's most obviously distinctive about his work, though, is that most of it, in fact, all of the stuff I've seen with outside some strips in the collection of his early work Pocket Full of Rain, is done with bipedal cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds.  What's interesting about the Lost Cat thumbnails is just how human some of the figures look, while the ones that don't look human, the ones that belie their final form as anthropomorphic animals, only do so because Jason has added, say, ears, to them. Strikingly, this makes his characters both human and not, and gives the cartoonist the freedom to place them wherever he pleases on the spectrum in between, meaning that great follows from small, that little additions mean great leaps in possibility and, ultimately, meaning. 

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