First published in England in 1980, there are those who feel Raymond Briggs’ Gentleman Jim was seminal, releasing the dogs on a new generation of storytelling.
Gentleman Jim is Jim Bloggs, a toilet cleaner who yearns for the wider world only to discover — as we all must — to be careful what you wish for.
This new Drawn & Quarterly edition is, if anything, an enhancement over the original. For one thing, the garage band sensibility of the first edition is banished by the natural elegance of hard cover. Briggs’ beautiful illustrations have never looked so luminous. A foreword by graphic novel expert Seth completes the package. “I’m glad to see this edition of Gentleman Jim back in print,” writes Seth. “Raymond Briggs is a great cartoonist.”
If you’ve never before encountered Gentleman Jim, make a point of doing so. I’m sure you’ll agree.