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DEAR JULIA by Brian Biggs

The other day I found Brian Biggs’s Dear Julia on my shelf and realized that I had never read it before. (I believe I bought it a few summers ago at used book store in White River Junction, VT). This book is beautiful. It was published by Top Shelf 11 years ago. Biggs’s pacing is incredibly regular (four panel per pages), but his compositions are a constant revolution and surprise. His style is pen and ink wash (think a more graceful-and less lively-Ben Katchor), very skillfully rendered, almost decorative. Although the drawing is in no way minimalist, what really makes this story works in what he leaves out. There’s always something pulling your eye to strain beyond the confines of the panel; you continue to ask for the next bit of story that’s not given. Basically it’s an excellent mystery novella about a strange man who is plagued by a compulsion to fly, and has lost a woman-Julia-somewhere along the way.

I looked up Biggs and found this website. Apparently he has become a prolific and successful children’s book illustrator, but hasn’t published a comic in a decade. (If you ever find this post, Brian, give us something more, please.) I found this wonderful film with voice-over and score for his first comic, Frederic and Eloise (scroll to the bottom of the linked page). Has anybody else ever read his work? For those who are interested you can read more about Dear Julia here.

3 thoughts on “DEAR JULIA by Brian Biggs

  1. Thanks for the post, and thanks for the words about Dear Julia. Glad you found it on your shelf. WordPress pinged me about your post so it wasn’t too hard to find…
    The comics sort of ended about the same day my first kind was born. Financially, comics aren’t exactly gonna put shoes on the baby. So yeah, children’s books. I do have a couple of stories in the notebooks that will be graphic novels some day. I love the medium and I miss the obsessions. Kids’ books are loads of fun, but insanity and paranoia aren’t a good fit between the covers of a 32-page picture book.

  2. Hey Brian,

    I really hope those stories make it out of your notebook! It was such a great experience to find your amazing work hidden on my own bookshelf.

    I have a two-year-old daughter myself, so we’re going to go check out your children’s books.

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