Ott, Thomas 1966-
Ott, Thomas 1966-
Born October 6, 1966, in Switzerland.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Fantagraphics Press, 7563 Lake City Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115.
Author of self-illustrated graphic novels and comics; creator of animation; member of band, "The Playboys."
Phantom der Superheld, Edition Moderne (Zurich, Switzerland), 1995.
Grettings from Hellville, Edition Moderne (Zurich, Switzerland), 1995, published as Greetings from Hellville, Fantagraphics Press (Seattle, WA), 2002.
Dead End, Fantagraphics Press (Seattle, WA), 2002.
Author of comic books in Switzerland, some of which have been translated as La Bête a cinq doigts, La Douane, Tales of Error, and Exit. Contributor of political cartoons and caricatures to newspapers and magazines in Switzerland.
As Thomas Ott's graphic novels are wordless, they are quite easy to translate from one culture to another. Ott uses the scratchboard technique, meaning that each page starts out black and he uses pointed objects to scratch through to the white underneath. The resulting artwork "is powerful and dramatic," to quote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Ott's subject matter is grim and nihilistic, bordering on horror while retaining its ties to the real world. Most of his "heroes" wind up dead at the end of their segments, victims of violence brought on by their own bad natures. According to Ray Olson in Booklist, Ott's combination of scratchboard technique, his multiple points of view expressed without words, and his noir storytelling "are what give his work its peerless downbeat fascination."
Ott lives and works in Switzerland, where he is well known as a comic book artist, a political cartoonist, and an animator.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2002, Gordon Flagg, review of Greetings from Hellville, p. 1664; February 1, 2003, Ray Olson, review of Dead End, p. 967.
Publishers Weekly, June 24, 2002, review of Greetings from Hellville, p. 42.
Lambiek.net, http://www.lambiek.net/ott.htm/ (July 22, 2003), "Thomas Ott."