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Picture books for grownups

By COLETTE BANCROFT
Published May 13, 2007


Picture books

These new books employ comics and cartoons, but they're not for the kiddies.

The Salon (St. Martin's) by Nick Bertozzi is an imaginative graphic novel set in Paris in 1907, in which Braque, Picasso, Gauguin and other luminaries of the art world try to solve a mystery involving a blue absinthe that lets its drinkers enter the worlds of paintings, and a murderer who's targeting artists: "Just another modernist without a head."

Loads More Lies to Tell Small Kids (Plume) by Andy Riley is a book of cartoons that illustrate the oddball myths we all believed as kids, some silly ("Bowling balls have retractable eyes"), some poignant ("If you pack enough flour into a thermonuclear warhead, the mushroom cloud will turn into a giant muffin").

A Killing in Comics (Berkley Trade) by Max Allan Collins, with illustrations by Terry Beatty, brings the creator of the graphic novel Road to Perdition together with a Batman artist to create a hardboiled mystery set in the world of comic publishing in the 1940s.

Colette Bancroft is the Times book editor.