It’s been a busy year for Nick Bertozzi. 2007 saw two new graphic novels out from the New York-based cartoonist, both followed by extensive promotional touring including reading sessions, book signings and panel discussions at various conventions and book stores. Endeavours such as these of course reflect the growing interest in the graphic novel, and the continuous climb of the art form as a whole – and it’s a climb that in no small measure can be attributed to the bold experiments of Bertozzi’s generation.
Having largely discarded both the stylistics and the contents of genre-based comics, the avant-garde of today’s comic book artists have embarked on a seemingly boundless foray into the mechanics of what constitutes great storytelling and great art. Judging from his two new books, The Salon and Houdini: The Handcuff King, 37-year-old Nick Bertozzi seems to find at least part of the answer in historical events.