Children of the Atom
by Dave Lapp
11×4.25 inches, 240 pages
From the artist behind the critically acclaimed Drop-in comes an earlier comic strip project, collected here for the first time in its entirety. Originally serialized in Western University’s The Gazette, then weekly in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper from 1996-2001, Children of the Atom is like a Samuel Beckett play in comic strip form. The two characters Franklin Boy and Jim Jam Girl live in an absurdist world of their own making, exchanging philosophies, dancing around any possible love story. Influenced by the comics of Mark Beyer, Lynda Barry, and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, Lapp has created his own tightly concieved but loosely rendered world through poetic language, simple lines and shapes, and surreal settings. This book recreates the format of the strips and includes the entire five year run. Not only is it an accomplished piece of art and storytelling, but also an archival treasure which can now be rediscovered.
“Despite its obvious debt to other strips, it carries a highly original, singular voice. He has managed to hone the rhythm of strip cartooning in such a way that it feels more like poetry than narrative storytelling. Each strip finds an object or action to anchor it and, through Franklin and Jim-Jam’s free-form creativity, Lapp is able to use it as a springboard for wordplay, semiotic games or Freudian examination of the nature of relationships…” The Comics Journal
“Standing entirely on its own, Lapp’s handsome pen-and-ink art is gorgeous to behold: it’s some of the most accomplished strip artwork you’ll find, with a skill, delicacy, and subtlety that compares to the best in the format’s history….Children of the Atom is the truly distinctive creation: it breathes literary quality into what has predominantly been a gag medium. And with its singular vision, it quietly moves and delights.” — See Magazine
For samples visit the Children of the Atom site.
Dave Lapp’s first book Drop-in was nominated for a Doug Wright Award and an Ignatz Award. He is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and the University of Western Ontario. He has been teaching art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Avenue Road Arts School, and Regent Park for over ten years. As an extension of his work with underpriveleged kids in Regent Park, Lapp began the Jet Fuel Coffee Shop art show. Lapp co-produced the Toronto comics anthology Don’t Touch Me from 2002-2007. His work can currently be seen in Taddle Creek magazine, and the Annex Gleaner. Lapp, his partner, and her son currently reside near Toronto’s Wellsley village.