Comics Journal


The Comics Journal
Is That All There Is?


Is That All There Is (Joost Swarte)
$35; 144 pages

Reviewed by Matt Seneca

The title’s the joke: yes, folks, this rather slim, elegantly designed hardcover contains (nearly) every published comic by Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte. The book feels both in and slightly out of sync with this particular moment in comics reprint culture, in which translations of European master cartoonists are increasingly replacing newspaper strip resurrections as the big news. Europe’s comics feel like a bottomless well at the moment, with every new or reintroduced name bearing whole libraries of untranslated genius still to be gotten around to (see Jacques Tardi and Milo Manara). But then there is Swarte, whose entire career in the art form weighs a few ounces and can be carried easily in one hand, yet whose impact on comics is clearly visible across the map.