Great Graphic Novels: Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler

GreatgraphicnovelsLast month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler

NewImageEveryone who is into comics knows what the acclaimed graphic novels are. I have most of 'em and I recognize that they are magnificent achievements. On the other hand I haven't read many of them all the way through because despite their greatness they wore me out or bummed me out or left me out in some other way... like Moby Dick did. I never could get through that indisputably great book.

And so I'm going to recommend a graphic novel that is great because it is good, solid and delivers in spades what I most enjoy in a comic book; a comfortable mastery of the form, fun, surprises, a story I can get into and a light touch. In short its the kind of book you can flop down on the couch with of an afternoon, lie back and enjoy.

It's Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler, published by CO2 and available here.


  1. I took the first volume of it out of the library a month or so back and had a good time reading it! I didn’t know there was more.

    The story’s about a bunch of insect jazzmen in the 50s, struggling with rising fame and their addictions to a drug known as “bug juice”. The first volume is mostly concerned with the rise of Jimmy Watts and his friends, with occasional flashforwards to the present day.

  2. I haven’t been a fan of Steve Lafter before–I don’t dislike his work, it just never grabbed me–but it’s hard to turn away a recommendation by Jim Woodring, himself one of the great graphic artists of the era.

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