23 x 16,5 cm
96 pages in black & white
ISBN : 978-2-84841-037-1
Release date: March 2012, in stock
Free download and online reading
The bus comic strips were first published in 1978 in Heavy Metal magazine, where they appeared regularly for seven years.
From the simple, mundane premise of a man waiting for his bus, the strips quickly slip into a weird yet hilarious world where cities are surreal labyrinths and bewilderment is just around the corner.
Six to eight wordless panels is often all it takes Kirchner to display his sense for the bizarre. In the bus, fire hydrants come alive, buses chose to stray away from the law, the distant horizon might be just an arm’s length away and the whole world might just turn out to be a two-dimensional panel messing with our sense of depth. More bizarre yet, in 25 years since its original publication in the USA by Ballantine Books in 1987, the bus has never been republished.
This new edition contains the entire collection of strips drawn by Paul Kirchner, including a dozen previously unreleased. It also includes a new postscript and a new cover drawing by Paul Kirchner.
« Primitive sea-dwelling ancestors of the bus appeared as far back as 500,000,000 B.C. »
Paul Kirchner was born in 1952 and worked as an assistant to legendary EC Comics cartoonist Wally Wood. Among his other works is the surrealistic western Dope Rider, published in High Times magazine.
« If you’ve traveled any distance on any form of public transportation, even once, you may already have some sense of the existential surrealism driving Paul Kirchner’s the bus. If you have never been bused, then buckle up. A troublingly smart comic strip, the bus runs its route on a Möbius strip with stops along the avenue of the absurd. (…) »
Christopher Notarnicola, The Paris Review
« Did everyone except me know that Éditions Tanibis was doing an edition of Paul Kirchner's the bus ? That's a big one to cross off of the "I wonder why no one has published a collected edition of that" list. »
Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
« One of my absolute favorite comic strips, the bus by Paul Kirchner, appeared in the City Paper in the early 1980s. This surrealistic strip showed a commuter bus in impossible, insane, only-in-comics situations such as driving off an elevated highway and plunging towards certain doom only to stop in midair over a sign reading "bus stop." The strip has long been out of print but Tanibis Editions of France has done a lovely hardcover reprinting. »
Mike Rhode, Washington City Paper
« A few weeks ago I highlighted Dope Rider, the trippy Wild West cartoon that appeared in High Times over a number of years in the 1970s and 1980s. The talented artist of those comic strips was Paul Kirchner, whose masterwork may well be a thoughtful and surreal strip about a municipal bus that appeared regularly in Heavy Metal over the same period, from 1979 to roughly 1985. That strip, the bus (always scrupulously set in lower-case), provided an ideal starting point for Kirchner’s fertile imagination, as the strip explored many variations of futility and disaster, fueled as much by The Twilight Zone and Godzilla as the paintings of Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher. (…) »
Martin Schneider, Dangerous Minds
« (…) Kirchner’s experimentation is wonderful, whether in having his buses defy the laws of physics or treating them, in some cases, like other objects or even people. His unflappable protagonist fascinates us as well, both when he seems to perceive the surrealist events around him as perfectly normal or when he gives them at most a curious glance. In his wordless sequences, Kirchner is at his most effective. (…) »
« Here’s one of those things I think I saw back in the day, but never quite realised who or what it was. Put that down to many years as a teen looking at Heavy Metal in the 80s and probably not looking too closely at the surreal black and white brilliance of the bus when there were colourful, brasher, sexier things on offer. But like most things, time is a worthy filter, and given the over the top sex and fantasy of Heavy Metal or the gentler, more thoughtful and altogether stranger meanderings of Paul Kirchner‘s the bus, I know which comes out on top. (…) »
Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet
« (…) What makes these strips work — and they do work, quite well, actually — is a) Kirchner’s deadpan approach, and b) his cinematic, storyboard approach, slowly teasing the action out until the joke becomes apparent. I could easily see these strips being adapted into, say, short cartoons, though I think they work exceedingly well as comics, and I’m glad for the opportunity to be introduced to this material. »
Chris Mautner, Comic Book Resources
« I forget where I first saw excerpts from Paul Kirchner's The Bus, but it was weird and impressive. The wonderfully surreal strip uses the ever-fluctuating dimensions of a city local bus to create sight gags with shrinking humans, suicidal buses and urban anomie. Imagine if the TARDIS were a non-Euclidian piece of urban transportation that would sometimes flip out and be filled with anthropomorphic flies (with way less narrative than what I described there) and you get the gist. »
Charles Webb, Topless Robot
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