Breakout Cartoonists: K. Thor Jensen

Posted by Guest Author on Feb 4, 2008 in Comic Books |

Red Eye, Black Eye, by K. Thor Jensen

Our Top Indie Cartoonists to Watch For in 2008: Keeping true to our “Anti-Superheroes in Tights” mood at fanboy, we took a look back at the comic books and graphic novels that caught our eye:

Red Eye, Black Eye, by K. Thor Jensen

Still rounding up the graphic novels that impressed me in 2007, I bring you a tale set in 2001. Suddenly one September, prolific cartoonist and Portal of Evil founder Thor finds himself getting fired from his job. And then his girlfriend dumps him over the phone. And then he gets evicted. And then his Grandmother dies. And then terrorists in planes attack the city. And this all happens in the first two pages. So by page three, where a lesser man may have crumbled, Thor resolves to buy a 60 day bus pass and see America.

Crashing the couches of internet friends across the country (including one couch that gets set on fire), Thor collects stories from his various hosts and illustrates them, making this perhaps the first autobio comic I’ve seen thats as much chronicling the lives of someone else. My personal favorite story is about a Wiccan girl who wears her abortion in a vial around her neck, but we all know thats just the kind of gal that I am. Along the way Thor drinks a lot, gets thrown out of a bar over a paper mache vagina, learns the inner mechanations of Disneyland, smuggles percocets, and has an STD non-scare with a girl in a hot tub. It could all be idyllic, except for the lingering uncertainties of his dwindling finances (the shady landlady who evicted him on page 1 bounces his return deposit check several times), and what the future will hold once the trip is done.

Thor muses over whether he should even return to New York, all the while waiting for the profound insight or self awareness a road trip is supposed to bring. It never comes. Maybe modern day America is too sterile and homogenized to serve up that kind of self-discovery any longer. Maybe in the wake of 9/11 and all else thats happened, Thor is too shaken and weary for any type of epiphany. Or maybe this is just a bunch of stuff that happened. Who’s to say? Read the book for yourself and check out more of Thor’s work here (the Amber Forever chat logs are a must read).

Jenny Gonzalez is a New York City cartoonist and punk rock singer. You can see her stuff at

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.