Graphic Novel 'The Tragedy Series' Illustrates Life's Many Absurdities

03/19/2015 08:35 am ET | Updated Mar 19, 2015

Imagine a pair of star-crossed lovers, kept apart only by one's darkest secret -- instead of hands, she has a huge, unwieldy pair of lobster claws. To call such a strange predicament a tragedy wouldn't be inaccurate -- we all remember what happens in "Edward Scissorhands" -- but to do so earnestly might elicit a muffled laugh or two.

This vignette is one of many chronicled in Benjamin Dewey's blog-turned-graphic novel, The Tragedy Series. Aside from a 20-panel story, the collection is a series of peculiar, sepia-toned non sequiturs that will make readers laugh as much as they appeal to their schadenfreude.

In one panel, Dewey visualizes an oft-imagined predicament with wit. A woman reading in a cafe is oblivious to a man walking and reading nearby; the caption says, "Soul mates, each engrossed in same tome, never meet." The following vignette takes a humorous, fantastical turn: A weeping artist-vampire laments his inability to ever paint a self-portrait. By waffling between absurd moments and legitimately woeful scenes, Dewey manages to capture the full spectrum of tragic events.

Read an excerpt from Benjamin Dewey's The Tragedy Series:

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