* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me.
"What the hell is this?"
Working at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, I hear this question a lot, but I especially get it in reference to this week's spotlight title: Johnny 23 by Charles Burns.
If you were one of the fans crushed in the crowd when Charles Burns visited the store back in November, then hopefully you caught his discussion about the similarities in his latest novel X'ed Out and Hergé's classic The Adventures of Tintin. (Ken Parille has a great run-down on those similarities on The Comics Journal blog here.)
And in a nod to the bootleg Hergé titles that float around, Burns has created his own "bootleg" of X'ed Out, re-arranging the panels and adding brand-new artwork to create Johnny 23. French publisher Le Dernier Cri printed only a few thousand copies of this one, and from what I understand, it ain't getting reprinted, so you should get yours now.
Oh, and did I mention it's written in ALIEN? 'Cause… yeah. And Burns has said, it's not a translation of the text from X'ed Out. Apparently, there are keys online somewhere, or maybe you can send some cereal box proof-of-purchases and get a decoder ring. But just think, once you learn the language, won't that look impressive on future job resumes for our eventual alien overlords?