A Jason character is easily recognized, although he operates with a wide cast of figures. Whether it is James Joyce, Frida Khalo, a zombie or werewolves, they all have in common that they are drawn like animals. In the Jason universe you´ll find dogs, cats, rabbits and birds, with a little too big heads, elongated bodies and white eyes without pupils – or black, if it´s a zombie.
Jason debuted in a realistic black and white style, inspired by cartoonists like Hugo Pratt and Jaime Hernandez. But his simplified, cartoonier style became clearer as more of his stories found their way to an audience.
According to Jason, he was inspired by Hergé, and how that cartoonist drew his early Tintin albums. This concerns both the way his panels are composed and his clear line drawings.
After his first comic book in 1995, Jason started experimenting with a new visual language, and in Mjau Mjau issue 5 (1999) a somewhat strange looking bird figure saw the light of day. It was an iconic figure, easily recognizable, even in silhouette. The key to Jason´s literary universe was created.
Jason considers the use of animals the main development of his comics. – You can tell all kinds of stories using animals, they are more universal, he claims.
Furthermore, the surroundings of his characters are drawn in a minimalist way.
Drawing animal figures isn´t a new invention, but Jason´s drawings stand out by being anything but comical. His graphic novels provide a peculiar touch of humour in spite of the characters’ loneliness, existential anxiety and the absurd Kafka-like situations they operate in.
Jason rarely writes a manuscript before he draws, but rather improvises the story as he works. Recently, he has worked mostly on smaller size books, with a four-panel grid. – If a page consists of many panels it´s harder to edit. If you remove a panel, you must replace it with a new one, he comments.
48 or 64 pages were leading comic book formats of the 80’s and 90’s, especially in France, and Jason´s first albums are in these formats. New standards has opened other opportunities for comic book authors like Jason to write longer stories. “Lost Cat” is probably the longest to date, with 150 pages.
Jason is inspired by art and culture; often pulp fiction and film noir, and likes to put famous characters into new settings. For instance Frida Kahlo has got a new career as an assassin in If You Steal (2015). With her distinctive eyebrows she is unmistakably recognizable. Jason is a fan of her work, and surrealism in general. He especially likes Magritte, and one might see a relationship between Magritte’s lonely hat men and Jason´s hat dressed animals.
Jason has always new books in mind. Whatever he chooses ArtLego make a prophecy; As soon as Jason lifts his hand to draw, the result will have the capacity to become a comic book classic.