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Red Eye, Black Eye

2.70  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  44 reviews
In the days after September 11th, with the ruins of his job, relationship, and city crumbling around him, cartoonist and roustabout K. Thor Jensen packed a backpack, bought a bus pass and took to the open road. His 60-day, 10,000-mile journey is chronicled in this ragtag romance. Red Eye, Black Eye is a fractured portrait of 21st century American life.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Alternative Comics (first published February 14th 2007)
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Average rating 2.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Jun 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was surprised at the start of this book that there seemed to be more focus on the author's friends' stories than his own point of view.

Unfortunately, that was quickly recitified and the author took center stage, showing what an obnoxious and annoying person he seems to be. I honestly found the main character so dislikable that I did not finish the entire book. I can't remember the last time I didn't bother finishing a book, no matter how bad it was.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: roads
I'm a sucker for road books. On the Road, Travels With Charlie, hey even The Odyssey — I love 'em. But this one sucks. Maybe I'm missing something — is this Slacker Culture? To passively schlep through life? The most exciting part of a 60-day road trip is being pulled on a burning sofa for a few minutes? This dude meets all these people and has no insights about them or how they live. He learns nothing. Does he have any passion for life? Any ambition to make somebody's life better? Any interest ...more
Rebus X
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
K. Thor is an insufferable, arrogant, stupid, elitist, entitled, upper middle class white kid slumming around the country. His tales are boring and one can only feel loathing for he and his entire generation. That art is crap and his critique of comic book history found online is ludicrously ill-informed and almost wholly inaccurate (yes, read his essay about big boobs in comics, if not to laugh at such a silly topic, but to ridicule him for getting the 'rise' of big boobs wrong by half a ...more
Redwan Orittro
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
No big life lesson from this book. I read it solely for entertainment and just like the author says about his journey, I really can't narrow down the best or worst part of this book.
Oct 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
I thought this book was terrible. The uneventful story of a guy who takes greyhound around the country for two months, staying with people he only knows from the internet, and recounting random stories they tell him in the form of comics. But the protagonist seems to be an asshole and proud of it.
Christopher Ryan
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very basic art, not particularly compelling or engaging. The panel formatting never changes, leaving the scope and style severed hamstrung. The stories are on the edge of being clever but most of them are unfulfilling and far too short. Worst of all, the main character is incredibly misogynistic and crude; I wouldn't want him on my couch.
I liked this story of a self-proclaimed hobo's journey couch-hopping across the United States via Greyhound, though sometimes the tone was a little difficult to read. I suppose I found myself wanting a few more details or moments of introspection rather than a catalog of events, but that's about my only complaint.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I stopped reading it when he told two girls he wanted to hate f*** them. Don't waste your time.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Kerouac & Canterbury Tales in this comic collection of couch-surfing anecdotes.

I think I liked this more than most people.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it

In the final months of 2001, Jensen lost his job, his girlfriend, his New York City apartment, and his grandmother. Then, he watched the World Trade Center towers fall. Shortly after that, Jensen put his belongings into storage, bought a Greyhound Ameripass (which allows the holder to ride as many buses as he or she wants for a certain period of time), and began traveling the country. Over the next two months he visited 18 cities, staying with friends or
Printable Tire
No Job. No Girlfriend. No Home.

Once again, I am a sucker for a book I can relate to. This was an enjoyable graphic novel (moreso graphic travel journal) relating the author's journey around the country via bus after he's tossed out of his apartment on October 1st (Hey! Just like me!). Not much goes on; all cities and places basically meld together (as the simple claustrophobic, square six-panel pages can't help but demonstrate), and most of our hero's time is spent loafing or goofing off with
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nope
This book was frustrating because it had so much potential. The narrator loses his job, girlfriend, apartment and then 9/11 happens, so he freaks out and buys a Greyhound ticket that'll take him anywhere he wants to go in the U.S. But he ends up doing next to nothing.

Where were the stories of what happened on the bus? Two overheard conversations are included, but Greyhounds are downright scary (I was once a lucky traveler on one that the police had to come on because there might've been
Mar 31, 2010 rated it did not like it
I liked the idea of this book - a guy with nothing going for him takes to the road and cobbles together places to stay with old friends and acquaintances met online. The story is pretty uneventful, which I think also said something about the narrator's experience. Even when you turn your back on everything familiar and strike out on your own, well, sometimes life is still boring.

I expected to like the narrator, but after a few pages you realize he's not particularly likeable. I can like
Eric Piotrowski
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I''ve never had much sympathy for the bemused unconsciously-existentialist bummin' around who-cares lifestyle. Given all of the vast opportunities most of us have, and all the urgent problems in the world, how can an able-bodied individual with skills (artistic, intellectual, social) dedicate their time to exploring how pointless everything is?

So when K. Thor Jensen decides to get a bus pass and travel around the country, it's not because ours is a beautiful landscape, or because he wants to
'ro Maina
Dec 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Another review copy I got from friend. This graphic novel tells the story of the author/cartoonist as he travels around the country (10,000 miles in 60 days on a Greyhound bus) meeting people and relating the stories they share with him.

It starts with him getting fired, dumped and evicted (basically) which is more than enough reason to hop on a bus and just go. I expected a thought-provoking, soul-searching journey as the artist met others and "found" himself. I did NOT get what I expected.

Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I was going to rate this a three, but I thought, why? It was average. It was even a bit okay. But it definitely isn't a three.

Normally when I read a book, I can find a lot of things to tag it with. Stupid little tags, but tags nonetheless. But this book is nothing more than a simple 'comics' and 'read'. Why? Because nothing happens. Nothing. Thor gets on a bus, travels around, and comes home.

Nothing. Happens.

How can nothing happen? I don't know. But nothing does happen, and then a little bit
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of CrimethINC travel tales
In the beginning of this autobiographical travel comic, the author gets dumped by his girlfriend, loses his job, gets kicked out of his apartment. And his grandmother dies. AND
9-11 happens (he lives in Brooklyn). So with nothing to lose, he buys a Greyhound Ameripass, which allows his to travel anywhere in the US via the dirty dog. This comic is his story. And stories from other people along the way.

He travels city to city, couch surfing and often staying with folks he's only met on the
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time getting into this book, so I didn't finish it. I had a couple of issues right from the beginning. The first one was the lack of page numbers. For a book with so much activity and very similar panels, it was difficult for me to keep track and ensure I wasn't skipping pages (hey, pages stick together sometimes!). I felt that the author told too many stories. I lost interest quickly in the characters stories since there was little cohesion and connection between the characters, ...more
Jan 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Must agree with a couple of other reviewers - this guy comes across as, well, a dick. He screams at a Disneyland employee that he "oughtta beat [her] to death with an oar." He repeatedly heckles a musician, screaming at him to "wrap it the f**k up" and calling him "fatty" and "you fat f**k".
The worst, though, is this, spoken to a couple of young women who don't give up their table in a pizza joint for the author and his pals: "Excuse me again, ladies. Sorry to bother you again but I was
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book details an On The Road-esque journey made by a floundering, funny, wandering hipster. It's drawn so that anyone could get into this exploratory tale. The figures are somewhat simple but detailed enough to know that character is distinct. Basically, Jensen goes, by bus, across the country. He couch surfs and documents the stories of those he meets. The stories range from hilarious to sad, with a few grotesque happenings thrown in. This book serves those who like comics and those who ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
An autobiographical road story; in quick succession, Jensen loses his job, gets dumped, and then Sept. 11 happens. He buys a 2-month Greyhound pass and hits the road, visiting mostly people he's met from the Internet. Through all the cities he visits, all the drama in his personal life, the perseverance of Jensen's spirit and uniqueness of each person shines through in an iconic cartooning style that's easy to relate to.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
I see that this book has gotten horrible reviews for being too egotistical or arrogant, and i did get that vibe throughout the book - but not in a negative sense. k. thor is just a scumbag trying to find his place in the world and often ends up looking like an ass...but one you can identify with. it's a 'coming of age' story without any profound findings - which i think is pretty innovative. i liked it.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is about a guy who gets fired, moves out of his apartment and his grandma dies. Quarterlife crisis. So he buys a bus pass that will let him travel anywhere in the country for an extended period of time and finds people across the country to stay with via the internet. Then he goes and stays with them. It usually entails getting shitfaced with them and a story from them. Sounds interesting but it was actually pretty bland for my liking.
Michelle Hoogterp
Jun 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Juvenile. The character wants to get into fights, cause trouble, and says really misogynistic things to women when they make him angry--he's not telling them off for being rude, instead he's insulting their gender, suggesting rape, and acting like a complete loser.

There are potential good storylines in here, but I'm not going to continue reading something based on reality where the author is the one talking about his own pathetic actions towards women.
Alli Poirot
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
not very stimulating. sorry, thor, but you don't come off as a particularly nice person, especially in the 1st half of the book ("fatty" doesn't endear me). i do empathize with the "i thought this was supposed to be an epiphanic experience" feeling, though, and i like the way it ends.
a disappointing book for a journey overall.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Not too shabby. A guy writes about his two months on a bus pass around America. He met up with people he just met on the internet.

Nothing really crazy in here, but a nice little account of the trip, which doesn't try to make up for the fact that there were no huge adventures.
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
For the most part I didn't really like this graphic novel... and it never came together for me. However in one of the anecdotes, a little kid goes around asking people to say "Smeeney Knucklehead." That for me was the best part.
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
A few amusing moments does not save what is a rather mundane and boring memoir. K. Thor Jensen seems like something of a dick who has very little to say.
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Promising start but I got bored with it quite soon: drifting around telling short stories is just not enough. And I did not like the main character at all.
Jul 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book wasted my time. The plot is great, the storyline sux.
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