With his simplified art style and wry sense of humor, Norwegian cartoonist Jason has crafted some immensely entertaining stories featuring anthropomorphized animal characters. And next month, Fantagraphics is releasing a collection of Jason’s short comics to show his versatility as a storyteller. Some of the comics in If You Steal include a tale about Frida Kahlo as a hired killer, a heist incorporating images by famed painter René Magritte, and the cartoonist’s take on JFK’s assassination; this preview spotlights an unconventional murder mystery involving a 50-foot Jackson’s chameleon. These pages showcase Jason’s understated characterizations, atmospheric coloring, and talent for diffusing tension with comedy (why is Professor Jones so fixated on the roots of masturbation?), balancing a fantastic concept with a grounded perspective that makes it easy to forget these are walking, talking dogs investigating a murder allegedly committed by a giant reptile.

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