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Almost Silent packages four original Jason graphic novels — three of them out of print since mid-2008 — into one compact, hardcover omnibus collection. (As the title indicates, this volume favors Jason’s pantomime works.)

“You Can’t Get There from Here,” the longest story of the book (and the only one to be printed in color — well, a color), tells the tale of a love triangle involving Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Monster’s Bride: Jason cleverly alternates between totally silent sequences involving the three characters and scenes in which Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant discusses the day’s events with a fellow hunchbacked assistant to another mad scientist. (You didn’t know they had a union?)

“Tell Me Something” is a brisk (271 panels), near-totally-silent (just a few intertitles) graphic novelette about love lost and found again, told with a tricky mixture of forward- and back-flashing narrative. “Meow, Baby” is a collection of Jason’s short stories and gags, and finally, “The Living and the Dead” is a hilariously deadpan (and gory) take on the traditional Romero-style zombie thriller.

All of these yarns star Jason’s patented cast of tight-lipped (or -beaked) bird-, dog-, cat- and wolf-people, and show off his compassion and wry wit. Almost silent is a perfect starting point for a new reader wanting to know what the fuss is all about, and a handsome, handy, inexpensive collection for the committed Jason fan.

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