Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
The classic joke about time travel is that anyone who actually invented it would probably go back in time to change or ‘fix’ something minor and selfish, rather than doing something huge like trying to kill Hitler.
The Norwegian cartoonist who goes by the name Jason toyed with that joke by writing and drawing I Killed Adolf Hitler, a graphic novel in which an assassin is sent back in time to destroy the Fuhrer, but things go very, very wrong as Hitler manages to come forward in time, leaving the assassin to deal with his predicament.
Now the graphic novel has been optioned for a film development. This might be because the story would really make a great movie (it might) or because Jason’s clean, spare lines are often compared to the work of Tintin creator Herge, who is more fashionable in the States now than he has been in a long time. Regardless, a few more details are below.
THR says that Studio Eight optioned the rights to the graphic novel, and D.C. Walker has been hired to script. We don’t know if the eventual film, should it really happen, will be animated, live-action or some hybrid. (Jason’s characters are usually drawn as anthopomorphized bipedal animals.)
The plot of the book is below and you can check out the first few pages (which happen to be oddly sexualized and NSFW) at Amazon.
In general, Jason’s stuff is great and very much worth paying attention to. Or his older work was, at least — in researching what he’s done recently I’ve realized that he’s got a few more recent books I need to catch up on. But he’s got a touch for combining the outrageous and the very mundane, glueing the two together with a wicked, weird sense of humor.
In this full-color graphic novel, Jason posits a strange, violent world in which contract killers can be hired to rub out pests, be they dysfunctional relatives, abusive co-workers, loud neighbors, or just annoyances in general — and as you might imagine, their services are in heavy demand. One such killer is given the unique job of traveling back in time to kill Adolf Hitler in 1939… but things go spectacularly wrong. Hitler overpowers the would-be assassin and sends himself to the present, leaving the killer stranded in the past. The killer eventually finds his way back to the present by simply waiting the decades out as he ages, and teams up with his now much-younger girlfriend to track down the missing fascist dictator… at which point the book veers further into Jason territory, as the cartoonist’s minimalist, wickedly dry sense of humor slows down the story to a crawl: for long patches absolutely nothing happens, but nobody can make nothing happening as riotously entertaining as Jason does… and finally, when the reader isn’t paying attention, he brings it together with a shocking, perfectly logical and yet completely unexpected climax which also solves a mystery from the very beginning of the book the reader had forgotten about.
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