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I Killed Adolf Hitler Paperback – 15 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (15 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781560978282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978282
  • ASIN: 1560978287
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 0.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

A third color graphic work finds a wayward contract killer traveling back to 1939 to assassinate Hitler and failing when the fascist dictator successfully overpowers him and transports into the future, stranding the assassin in the past. Original.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Bentley VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first graphic novel (though I often feel that most graphic novels are more like graphic short stories) by Jason I've read, and I think I'll be reading more.

All of the characters are funny animals, though I think this is a stylistic decision of the kind that Spiegelman took with Maus, living in a bizarrely nihilistic world where the main (unnamed) character is hired by people to kill other people. It might be for money or love, but the cat-faced assassin is never short of work. What he is short of is love. His relationship with his girlfriend breaks down in the face of his occupation, and he takes a job to kill Adolf Hitler that involves a trip in a time machine. Only he fails and Hitler escapes into the future in the time machine... To go on any further will spoil the story, which uses the time travel element to talk about human emotions. And that is pretty much what grounds the entire enterprise. The story is played calmly, like a Wes Anderson film, where all the humour is deadpan, and the nub of the matter is the emotions of the characters involved.

The art is very simple but somehow manages to convey Jason's intentions perfectly, despite the fact that he doesn't use any artistic tricks to convey his intention. Perhaps it's the integrity of not trying to manipulate his readers that sells the work to me?

At any rate, despite having a slim page count, the story lingers on afterwards in your head, and I think there's no better recommendation than that, really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only Norwegian artist Jason could tell a turbulent love story and somehow work in a plot to travel back in time and kill Hitler.

Set in a world where assassinations are a legit business, a hitman is given the biggest job of his career: kill Adolf Hitler! But the job goes wrong and Hitler makes it to the future, stranding the hitman in the past. What becomes of them both, and what of the love of his life that the hitman leaves in the future?

Like all of Jason’s books, I Killed Adolf Hitler is wonderful but, re-reading it years later, one detail stuck out to me that hadn’t before: why did the hitman travel to a time when Hitler was in power rather than his starving artist years when no-one knew who he was? Or even better, when he was a baby? Killing him then would be simple as there’d be no lackeys around to stop him completing the hit!

Other than that, it’s your usual Jason book which is to say, profound and moving but totally deadpan and funny. The real focus of the book is the relationship between the hitman and his girlfriend though, as he was stuck in the past and had to wait 50 years to pick up where they left off, he’s now old enough to be her grandfather. Jason explores their strangely altered relationship as realistically as the situation allows and the romance feels real and never melodramatic or underplayed.

There’s something very zen and pleasantly surreal about Jason’s comics. This book is laid out in 8-panel grids and tells its story in under 50 pages. The panels feature animal-headed characters eating lunch or taking a walk or just standing there, and the story never hurries along or takes longer than it does to tell a scene, but is never boring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zack Whitlock on 19 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe through repeated reads I will like it more, but it definitely didn't reach my expectations, especially being a comic so critically acclaimed
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom White on 14 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've read several of Jason's graphic novels and this is the best I've come across. He takes a standard sci-fi idea and twists it into a simple but clever and satisfying plot which ultimately becomes a poignant love story, and the artwork is lovely too. Jason is the best European cartoonist around.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Jason Delivers Again 17 Oct. 2007
By Thomas Mulligan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Norwegian cartoonist's latest, out for some time in a French version, is a bent time-travel yarn in which a hit man from the future goes back to 1938 to try to cut Hitler's career short. This being Jason, nothing works out as planned. This being Jason, there's a poignant love story tucked inside the main "poli-sci-fi" escapade. The familiar Jason Repertory Company of flop-eared dogs and nearsighted crows is at the top of its game, lucidly conveying deep emotions with a tilt of the head or a bowed back. There's a little more dialogue than usual but seldom a wasted word, never a wasted panel. There's deadpan humor in an early sequence where guilt-ridden customers struggle to explain why they'd want to order a rub-out. With its arresting title and clever plot lines, could this be Jason's breakthrough book? It would make a more compelling movie than some of the Frank Miller fare that's out there. For people who don't know Jason, this might make a good introduction. It's not his best; he may never top his first - "Hey, Wait ..." - but nobody else will, either.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I Killed Adolf Hitler will make readers confront their assumptions about what art can and should be 15 Jan. 2009
By GraphicNovelReporter.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The books by Norwegian cartoonist Jason, born John Arne Sæterøy, are as difficult to explain as their appeal. Take, for instance, I Killed Adolf Hitler, published in the United States by Fantagraphics in June 2007 and translated by Kim Thompson. This original graphic novel features Jason's usual anthropomorphic animal characters who visually echo the early, simple style of Walt Disney, but whose faces often lack significant emotional expression. The worlds the cartoonist depicts also tend to mix elements and tropes from different genres of film--in this case, Jason combines time travel, hit men, and alternative history and throws in a melancholy love story just for good measure.

The plot of I Killed Adolf Hitler is almost too simple to describe and, in fact, can probably be mostly gleaned from what I've written already. Suffice it to say, our protagonist (none of the characters have their names identified . . . except for the titular führer, of course) is hired to travel back to Nazi Germany to do the deed. And, of course, things go . . . well, not wrong. But strange. Along the way to the book's end, there's a lot of standing around, murders, talking in diners, more time travel, and trips to the library.

Did I mention that Jason's work is difficult to explain?

Nevertheless, there's something intriguing here. The pages are broken into six-panel grids, giving the story's flow a cinematic feel. This effect is aided by a lack of caption boxes and scene transitions that almost resemble a movie's "jump cuts," where suddenly one scene ends and another has begun without warning. And since Jason creates comic book mash-ups of film genres, the effect hardly seems accidental.

Adding to the mystique are the blank faces of the animal characters who populate the world of the story. On the rare occasion that they actually do emote, they are usually expressing consternation, shock or surprise, or anger, skewing toward the darker end of the emotional spectrum. These are not happy characters, and this is not a happy story. Its ending, however, has a strangely satisfying conclusion that offers a sense of resolution and peace that is both entirely unexpected and entirely welcome.

An important aspect of this and all of Jason's books is the juxtaposition of these childish-looking cartoon animals and the violent and often sexually explicit lives they lead. While you never see any graphic depictions of sex in I Killed Adolf Hitler, it is discussed at one point--in detail--and there are a lot of bullets going into animal-people's heads. Think of it as Itchy and Scratchy meets Resevoir Dogs meets Ingmar Bergman.

I have mentioned that Jason's work is difficult to explain, right?

It seems as though Jason's work takes the baser aspects of reality--violence, sex, lies, and death--and forces readers to see them through the perspective of a child's cartoon, thereby making familiar themes and filmic conventions wholly new and often unsettling. By making the familiar strange, I Killed Adolf Hitler will make readers confront their assumptions about what art can and should be.

-- Brian P. Rubin
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
My first exploration of Jason 26 Oct. 2007
By Prem Lee Barbosa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the reason I think so positively about this book is that it was my first time reading a story by Jason, but either way it was a very enjoyable read.
There's a beautiful play of the way we interpret words and images because his personified or anthropomorphized animals betray little emotions in their faces, but just pour it out of their words and body language.
This is a really good example of how an artist can infuse subtle emotion in symbolic action and dialogue.
A masterclass in comics 15 Jun. 2014
By Sam Quixote - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Only Norwegian artist Jason could tell a turbulent love story and somehow work in a plot to travel back in time and kill Hitler.

Set in a world where assassinations are a legit business, a hitman is given the biggest job of his career: kill Adolf Hitler! But the job goes wrong and Hitler makes it to the future, stranding the hitman in the past. What becomes of them both, and what of the love of his life that the hitman leaves in the future?

Like all of Jason’s books, I Killed Adolf Hitler is wonderful but, re-reading it years later, one detail stuck out to me that hadn’t before: why did the hitman travel to a time when Hitler was in power rather than his starving artist years when no-one knew who he was? Or even better, when he was a baby? Killing him then would be simple as there’d be no lackeys around to stop him completing the hit!

Other than that, it’s your usual Jason book which is to say, profound and moving but totally deadpan and funny. The real focus of the book is the relationship between the hitman and his girlfriend though, as he was stuck in the past and had to wait 50 years to pick up where they left off, he’s now old enough to be her grandfather. Jason explores their strangely altered relationship as realistically as the situation allows and the romance feels real and never melodramatic or underplayed.

There’s something very zen and pleasantly surreal about Jason’s comics. This book is laid out in 8-panel grids and tells its story in under 50 pages. The panels feature animal-headed characters eating lunch or taking a walk or just standing there, and the story never hurries along or takes longer than it does to tell a scene, but is never boring. The art is very crisp, clean, spare and, to me anyway, absolutely perfect, especially with Hubert’s lovely colours. There’s never too much in a panel or too little - it’s always measured just right. And I loved the time travel machine design which is basically a metal orb with a chair in it and a panel with a button - it felt very classic B-movie-ish in a good way and plays into Jason’s spare drawing style.

Jason’s comics are among the best the medium has to offer, all of which I highly recommend reading if you can find them - he really hasn’t made a bad comic yet. I Killed Adolf Hitler brilliantly subverts the time travel/Hitler question into a surprisingly moving romance and a delightful read.
I love this guy 23 Mar. 2010
By Robert C. Cumbow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jason does the most amazing things with basic generic plot ideas garnered from movies and television. He takes them in astounding directions, and his deadpan drawing style pulls off hysterically funny moments. This is one of his best, a little graphic novella on the theme of time travel with more comic twists than you would have thought possible. This is right up there with LOW MOON and ALMOST SILENT, all three terrifically inventive funnies from one of the most devious minds working in the medium.
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