by Asaf Hanuka
published by Archaia Studio Press
Acclaimed Israeli cartoonist Asaf Hanuka’s weekly strips collected into one volume and translated into English for the first time. In 2010, Israeli newspaper The Calcalist asked Hanuka, already well known in Israel as a commercial illustrator and as a contributor to the animated film Waltz With Bashir, for a weekly comic strip. The first of the autobiographical strips chronicled Hanuka discovering that he and his wife and their young son need to find a new place to live, immediately and in a “crazy” Tel Aviv real estate market, because the apartment they’ve been renting has been sold. As an artist, husband, father or a regular Israeli citizen, Asaf Hanuka chronicles everyday life in his country, with humor that is offbeat and sometimes surreal. Shot for shot, Hanuka’s home is depicted as a vibrant metropolis and provides a brilliant depiction of modern Tel Aviv. Archaia’s edition of The Realist translates and collects both volumes of the work previously titled KO A Tel Aviv into a single book for the first time.
This is onthe list of my favourite books for 2015.
One can argue that it might be a very narcisitic body of work, but Mr. Hanuka is completely aware of that, and always presents the collected thoughts and episodes from his life (as far as they are true and not the goings on of a fictional version of himself) with a small wink.
The book feels like a guided tour through his headspace but also a chance of better understanding the way daily life works in Tel-Aviv. And while the tour is very entertaining it also manages to make the readers brain tick.
You can get The Realist from The Book Depository.
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