For more than two years now, Isreali cartoonist Asaf Hanuka, best know for the Bipolar comic that he created with his twin brother Tomer (I still have a soft spot for his adaptation of Israeli writer Etgar Keret’s Pizzeria Kamikaze into comics form several years ago – Joe), has done a weekly comic called The Realist, in which he contemplates the various aspects of his life as a young professional and father in Israel. Sometimes the comics are hilarious, sometimes they are very moving. Some of them are only one single, full-page drawing, others contain an intricate story in a few panels. The most striking aspect of the strip, however, is the art, which is never short of brilliant, and even though the particular style he uses for this comic slowly morphs from a semi-ligne claire affair to an almost hyper-realist style, Hanuka manages to always use it for the best, and always convey the same atmosphere in his strips.
The first two years of The Realist are now collected in a handsome edition by Steinkiss, retitled as K.O. A Tel Aviv. It is in French, which is understandable in some ways for a French publisher’s edition of international work, but at the same time it is also seems a little strange, as the original comics are published online in both in Hebrew and English language editions. So there’s no real reason why an adventurous English or American publisher wouldn’t take the bait and also provide the English-speaking public with a collected print edition of this most brilliant example of autobiographical comics as well.