The Cage

By (author): Martin Vaughn-James

First published in 1975, The Cage was a graphic novel before there was a name for the medium. Cryptic and disturbing, it spurns narrative for atmosphere, guiding us through a labyrinthine series of crumbling facades, disarrayed rooms and desolate landscapes, as time stutters backward and forward. Within the cage’s barbed-wire confines, we observe humanity only through its traces: a filmic sequence of discarded objects –headphones, inky stains, dishevelled bedsheets –scored by a deafening cacophony of breaths, cries and unsettling silence.

This new edition, which includes an introduction by comics master Seth, brings Martin Vaughn-James’s nightmarish vision to a new generation of readers.

‘I don’t use the word “masterpiece” lightly. I think The Cage is a masterpiece of comic art.’– Seth

‘Vaughn-James remains a significant figure in comics history because his work was singular, literate, experimental, and often unsurpassably good.’ – The Walrus

‘It is a masterpiece, demonstrating a level of skill and insight very few have even aspired to in the nearly 40 years since its initial publication … this work is strongly recommended for every true fan of the graphic arts.’ – Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Martin Vaughn-James

Martin Vaughn-James (1943-2009) was a painter and groundbreaking comics artist who published three graphic novels with Coach House Press: The Projector (1971), The Park (1972) and The Cage (1975). Born in England, he spent much of his youth in Australia before moving to Canada. Vaughn-–James is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of the graphic novel. Later in life, he moved to Belgium, where he focused on painting. Vaughn-James also published two works of prose fiction: Night Train (1989) and The Tomb of Zwaab (1991).


‘Recalling the impossible landscapes of M.C. Escher, Vaughn-James’s surreal visuals encourage readers to lose themselves. … With every turn of the page, the eye elides the images, creating a kind of floating, amorphous perspective for this abandoned, erratic, irrational world. What is remarkable is that the author-artist is capable of sustaining the sensation of a fragmentary reality over the course of an entire book.’ — Quill & Quire (starred review)


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192 Pages
9.25in * 6.5in * 0.5in


October 25, 2013


Coach House Books



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