Looking for a graphic novel I read in probably 2016. Don't know when it was published but if I had to guess I would guess mid-2000s to 2010s.
The protagonist is an investigator/detective. I think the job had a special name like "spirit detective" which of course is un-googleable thanks to The Spirit. Their most noteworthy trait is they can clone/replicate themselves, but I don't remember how that works. Maybe at any time? Only if about to die? There may be humanoids and I think the protagonist has a human body plan but I think they're sort of stretched out with a balloonish head. Don't remember if there are clothes. [edit: I want to say the protagonist is a bald male, but I'm wary of possibly mixing the memory of this book up with Dean Motter's Mister X]
The story is moody. Maybe the protagonist hasn't had a job in a while? Or is on the outs with the bosses? There are also questions I think about what it means to replicate yourself. And a finite number of replications either before you die for good or before you lose yourself. Replicas know what number they, or maybe only the original knows what number they're at. There's danger of wiping yourself out... Maybe if you replicate too deeply? There are conversations about whether taking this job is a good idea. Pretty sure the protagonist dies a few times. There is a friend or perhaps love interest. [edit: They may refer to some bureaucratic "dispacter" message sending our protagonist to the job, which is possibly trying to get rid of him for, like any good noir detective, investigating too far.] [editorial after starting to read Kiln People: I think a lot of the moodiness centered around hopelessness of lost memory. Getting clues to the investigation but losing them as you replicate? Touch of Memento)
Scenes I remember: office building/airport/convention center sort of space. Huge, open, roomy, Modern architecture-y. Traveling out to do the investigation, maybe in a dune buggy? And the investigation leads to a cave I think.
The artwork is striking. Sparse. Either all line work or maybe all washes. Monochrome I think, and probably black, but it would not surprise me if it was purples. [edit: writing this out is jogging my memory. "Graphic novel" still feels appropriate to me but I think it had full-page images not panels]
I read it in English but have a feeling it was originally in another language.
Thanks for your help!