by Nicolas Mahler
Top Shelf, $12.95
The titular Lone Racer in Austian cartoonist Nicolas Mahler's graphic novella is on the verge of being washed up. Facing the prospect of never winning annother race, he hangs out at the local watering hole with his best friend rubber and visits his chronically ill wife in the hospital. In the first chapter LR considers joining his mechanic on a bank heist. In chapter two he considers an affair with a damaged though recovering divorcee. And in the third and final chapter he attempts a comeback.
At first glace Mahler's artwork appears crude, as though drawn by a third-grader. But it's deceptively so; the pacing, structure and layouts are impeccable, and the childlike simplicity of the overt style belies the adult concerns of the narrative.
At just under 100 pages Lone Racer is a quick read, but a satisfying one that will stay with the reader.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
A review copy of Lone Racer was provided by the publisher.