Graphic Novel Review: The Book Tour by Andi Watson

The Book Tour by Andi Watson. Top Shelf, 2020. 9781603094795. 270pp.

British author G.H. Fretwell is on a tour to promote his new novel, Without K, and nothing is going right. Someone has stolen his suitcase, and no one is buying any of his books. After a night alone in his hotel room he’s questioned by two policemen about a missing bookstore clerk because he was the last person to see her. He find himself the center of a criminal investigation as his “book signings” get stranger and his accommodations seedier. What is the mystery’s relationship to the book Fretwell wrote? Why does everyone think he’s guilty? And why hasn’t a review of his book appeared in the newspaper? It is, as you may have suspected, very Kafkaesque.

Watson is one of my favorite artists, and the way he uses a 12-panel grid for layout in this book is masterful. It’s clear he had as much fun drawing the bookshops as he did the streets and alleys. This is a surreal, fun bit of bookish anxiety.


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