The real coup of the project is that after 406 pages detailing his adventures as a freeloading bum, Simon still comes off as a pretty nice guy. He floats through this sordid world with a guileless hedonism. The art, a sort of twisted Betty Boop takeoff, works wonderfully to this end. Its child-friendly stylization stands in gleeful contrast to the protagonist’s squalid shenanigans. The 120 Days of Simon is a ripping read and an unmissable chance to live vicariously through a Swedish underground icon with no responsibilities.
If Gärdenfors whets your whistle and leaves you craving more comics from his countrymen, take a look at other other titles from Top Shelf’s Swedish Invasion series. Recommended picks are the shockingly awesome hallucinatory madness of The Troll King, and the From the Shadow of the Northern Lights Volumes 1 and 2, collecting works from Sweden’s seminal comics magazine, Galaga.