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Creator / Jason

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John Arne Sæterøy (born 16 May 1965), known under the Pen Name "Jason", is a Norwegian comic book artist.

He's known (particularly throughout Belgium and France) for writing/drawing highly stylized "silent comics". His work tends to look like early silent cartoons, with definite influence from old newspaper comics (particularly series like Krazy Kat).

Not for kids.

His publications include:

  • Hey, Wait... (2001)
  • Sshhhh! (2002)
  • The Iron Wagon (2003) (Comic adaptation of a book by Sven Elvestad)
  • Tell Me Something (2004)
  • You Can't Get There From Here (2004)
  • Why Are You Doing This? (2005)
  • Meow, Baby! (2006)
  • The Left Bank Gang (2006)
  • The Living and the Dead (2007)
  • I Killed Adolf Hitler (2007)
  • The Last Musketeer (2008)
  • Pocket Full of Rain (2008)
  • Low Moon (2009)
  • Almost Silent (compilation) (2010)
  • Werewolves of Montpellier (2010)
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  • What I did (compilation) (2010)
  • Isle of 100,000 Graves (2011)
  • Athos in America (2012)
  • Lost Cat (2013)
  • If You Steal (2015)
  • On the Camino (2017)
  • O Josephine! (2019)

Tropes featured in Jason's comics:

  • Accidental Murder: In "Hey, Wait..." two boys, Jon and Bjorn are playing near a cliff when Jon starts a Batman club and comes up with an initiation on the spot: If you want to join, you have to swing from a tree branch hanging over the cliff, swing back toward the ground and let go. Jon makes it. Bjorn...chickens out and they have a falling out over it. Later, Bjorn screws up the courage to do it tells and Jon so. As Bjorn leaps up to swing, Jon says: "Hey, Wait..." and...Smash Cut to six black panels and Jon preparing for Bjorn's funeral.
  • The Ageless: Athos and Aramis apparently. It's unclear what happened to d'Artagnan or Porthos.
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  • Alternate History: "The Left Bank Gang". What if every novel in history had instead been a graphic novel, and every author was actually a cartoonist instead? And/or robbers.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In "Hey, Wait..." Would Bjorn have made it if Jon hadn't called out and distracted him, or would he have whiffed it anyway? Or did the branch break?
  • Anachronic Order: Some of his stories are told in this fashion, leaving the viewer to puzzle them out.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The town in "Low Moon" is done in the style of the Old West, but at one point we see the villain using a 1980s-style cellular phone.
    • "O Josephine!" involves Napoléon Bonaparte and his tempestuous romance with with Josephine...Baker.
  • Arc Words: "Emily Says Hello", from the story of the same name.
  • Becoming the Costume: Twisted in "Werewolves of Montpelier" A thief dresses like a werewolf so he can startle his victims and get away. A society of real werewolves sends someone to find out what's going on, who tells the thief to knock it off and leave town. He elects to confront the werewolf instead and is bitten.
  • The Cat Came Back: The husband in "Early Film Noir" keeps coming back, fully healthy and unaware anything happened no matter what his wife and her lover do with the body.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: "Hey Wait..." in a rather depressing way.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Werwolfery appears to be mostly cosmetic, with its victims getting hairy and feral looking, and from what we see an argument could be made for some physical enhancement. It certainly doesn't affect the personality.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
  • Dying Dream: One interpretation of the ending of "Hey, Wait..."
  • Everyone Can See It: In "Werewolves of Montpelier", the lady the protagonist tries to start a relationship with can see he's actually in love with his neighbor Audrey/Gertrude. So can Audrey's girlfriend. Yeah....
  • Femme Fatale: The woman in "Emily Says Hello" is technically one of these, as she's using a man's sexual obsession with her to manipulate him into killing certain people. She's an interesting case in that we never learn her motivations, and she seems to have an Ambiguous Disorder—she can't hold a proper conversation and has ritualistic behaviors.
  • Gainax Ending:
    • "Hey, Wait" ends with the protagonist, whose life has been on a downhill slant since the accidental death of his friend, speaking with what appears to be the Grim Reaper after apparently OD-ing on alcohol. The Reaper tells him to close his eyes and count to three, and he appears before his childhood self. Rather than going to the cliff, the boys play football/soccer instead. After that the adult protagonist boards a bus full of hollow-eyed people seemingly driven by the Reaper. Could he actually have somehow traveled in time and saved his friend's life, thus changing the timeline and causing his present self to "die"? Was it a Dying Dream where he reconciled with the past? Maybe everything after he passed out on the couch was a pathetic drunken fantasy or maybe he comes to accept the past can't be changed and finally moves on at last (and is "reborn"). No answer is given.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Implied. In "Early Film Noir", a cheating wife's lover keeps killing her husband and he keeps coming back to life completely unharmed for some reason, with no memory of what happened. One scene involves the wife and lover eating from a bowl of red stuff with her looking very squicked and wondering if it'll work. It doesn't, and she pukes the next day when she sees him.
  • Incompatible Orientation: The protagonist of "Werewolves of Montpelier" is in love with his lesbian neighbor across the hall, but Platonic Life-Partners seems to be as close as he'll ever get.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Since the Sheriff beat Bill Mc Gill at chess in 28 moves, he couldn't show his face in town any more! He had to do something drastic! That's why it's the Sheriff's fault Mc Gill robbed a bank.
  • Living Relic: Athos still lives more-or-less the way he did as a musketeer (except for the cigarettes), Aramis would be this as well, but he adapted to the times.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "The Left Bank Gang" Fitzgerald and Hemingway re-enact the (real-life) scene where the latter reassures the former about the length of his manhood...except this time someone walks in on them. Said someone later gives them a knowing smile when they get back to their table, to Hemingway's irritation.
  • Mr. Exposition: Parodied in "Karma Chameleon" wherein a zoologist is called upon to help deal with the creature. He's way more interested in talking to everyone he runs into about how perfectly normal masturbation is and the film he shows, while technically about chameleons, is a dry explanation of them and contains no insight relevant to the giant example thereof.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: There's apparently a council in charge of them, they're willing to die to protect the secret that wolves exist, they all think perfectly clearly, injuries carry over between forms, and it's not clear if silver bullets are any more or less effective than lead. The silver bullet killed the werewolf, alright, but he'd stuck it under his chin and pulled the trigger.
  • Painful Transformation: In "Werewolves of Montpelier", the transformation itself is painful, but the character's fine afterward.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who's Emily? How is she related to the woman in the story? Why does that woman want all those men dead?
  • Serious Business: "Low Moon" features a pair of The Wild West archetypes (the sheriff and his black-hatted nemesis) engaged in, not a shoot-out, but a tense game of chess which is treated as if it was almost a matter of life or death.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Another interpretation of the ending of "Hey, Wait..."
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "&", in which one man turns to burglary to get the money for his mother's potentially life-saving surgery and another tries to get the girl he loves by "&", performing secret Murder the Hypotenuse until she has no one left to marry but him. The mother dies on the table and the girl (intensely depressed by everyone she falls in love with dying) kills herself on their wedding night.
  • Showdown at High Noon: "Low Moon" revolves around one, but with a game of chess rather than a gunfight.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stating the Simple Solution:In "Werewolves of Montpelier", the protagonist turns into a werewolf. He's upset at first, but his neighbor points out that his transformation only happens at night, once or twice a month, and simply advises him to stay at home.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Athos. Aramis puts his old colors on once more to salute him at his grave.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Several comics have two or more story lines that converge near the end, such as "&" and "Tom Waits on the Moon".
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "New Face", the narration seems to be going along with the story until the main character takes the bandages off, whereupon it starts describing a scenario wildly different from what we see in the comic panels.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "Karma Chameleon" is a reference to 50's monster films in general and Tarantula (people coincidentally not seeing the monster, a pointless educational film) in particular.
  • World of Funny Animals: Most of his comics take place in one, though they're rather "moody animals".