Jetlag: Five Graphic Novellas is a collection of stories by Israeli author Etgar Keret that were translated into English and adapted into graphic narrative form by the members of Actus Comics. Keret has had some success overseas by appearing on National Public Radio programs and shows such as This American Life, working on films that gained critical success or appeared in festivals, and having his worked adapted into film. Etgar Keret is prolific author that has written works spanning from short stories and graphic novels, to scripts for films. Jetlag is significant because, much like most of Actus Comics’ work, is an attempt to bring Israeli work to a wider audience. This collection of stories is the merging of a lauded Israeli author and artist with a collection of independent and progressive artists that have pushed the boundaries of Israeli comics for a new audience.

The stories featured in Jetlag, despite being by written by Keret rather than the members of Actus Comics, fit perfectly among their other work: the stories are tinged with surrealism, and balance the strange and the familiar. Mira Friedmann illustrates “Passage to Hell,” which tells the story of a young woman who lives in a village close to the gates of hell and falls in love with a visitor. “Margolis,” with illustrations by Yirmi Pinkus, is a story about a boy and his precious piggy bank. The titular “Jetlag” contains illustrations by Itzik Rennert and tells the twisted tale of strange characters trapped in a bizarre flight.“HaTrick,” illustrated by Batia Kolton, is a twisted tale in which a magician finds that his hat can now only bring forth morbid oddities rather than the rabbit he needs. “The Romanian Circus,” which features illustrations by Rutu Modan, tells the tale of a salesman falling in love with an acrobat. The stories featured in Jetlag, much like other work by Actus Comics, manage to be touching, humorous, poignant, and odd all in the same breath.

—  Christian Mata

Further Reading

  • Calhou, Ada. Rev. of Jetlag: Five Graphic Novellas, by Etgar Keret and Actus Comics.The Austin Chronicle 8 Sept. 2000: n.pag. Web.
  • Battista, Anna. Rev. of Jetlag: Five Graphic Novellas, by Etgar Keret and Actus Comics.Erasing Clouds Feb. 2006: n.pag. Web.