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Drawn & Quarterly Showcase: Book Five 

(Drawn & Quarterly)

For their latest compilation, Drawn & Quarterly heads north, with three stories set in northern lands from two Scandinavian artists and one American. North American publishers have been steadily putting out translations of work from the Franco-Belgian comics tradition over the past few years, but there's some great work coming out of northern Europe these days, so it's nice to see D&Q giving that some exposure overseas. Swedish artist Anneli Furmark contributes a story with an Ingmar Bergman-like psychology about a young gay couple journeying to visit one man's parents and pretending they are merely bandmates. Amanda Vähämäki, a young Finnish artist, has a story of two children on a remote fjord who have a remote control that doubles as a time machine. Furmark's scratchy pens are highlighted by strategic use of coloured pencils and Vähämäki's lush, finely detailed drawings suck you in. American T. Edward Bak's story follows a man wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, evoking a sparse northern aesthetic, fairy tales and native folklore. Between the narratives and bright colours that still convey a sense of desolate Nordic light, the three stories compliment each other perfectly. It's an ideal compilation to curl up with on a bleak winter day.

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