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By John Pham. Published by Fantagraphics. 

Softcover, 160 pages, Colour, 2024 (originally published in Spanish in 2017, then English language hardcover in 2020)

Now in paperback, this colorful graphic novel follows lovable losers Jay and Kay, whose quotidian adventures are often hilarious and occasionally poignant, calling to mind everything from Peanuts to the work of Simon Hanselmann.

John Pham’s simple-seeming stories of best friends Jay and Kay and their misfit friends weave in and out, with unexpectedly sad twists and comical turns, all steered by Pham’s mastery of the cartooning craft and the language of comics storytelling. Pham’s bold use of bright color and high hilarity draws the reader in, only to slowly reveal extra layers of psychological acuity, character depth, and existential gravitas.

For all of its emotional richness, at its heart, J + K remains laugh out loud funny throughout, whether driven by Pham’s gift for memorable one-liners, his expertly delivered sight gags, or the inherent humor in his character designs and their physicality on the page. This new paperback edition will feature a few of the extra items that were included in the hardcover edition package — collectible trading cards, a mini magazine with inserts, a sticker sheet, and a fold out map and poster — which will all be printed as interior pages within the book. Combined with Pham’s brilliant use of color and innate grasp of printing, packaging, and graphic design, J + K is a chiseled gem of comics perfection.

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