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The Watery Part Of The World
posted July 23, 2008


Creators: James McShane
Publishing Information: Baleine Books, handcrafted softcover, 96 pages, 2008, $8
Ordering Numbers: go here

I found this much more interesting than most cinematic-feel comics I've read, I think because the flow of its story detailing a trip to a beach house and several of the incidents along the way and upon arrival builds mood through its relentless pacing. The effect it drives home is one of those periods of memory where you remember everything beginning to end almost more than you recall individual moments. It doesn't always sustain this flow, and there are time where you might fall right out or simply wonder when the hell the story might become more engaging, but I think we've all had vacations like that, too. Just as the narrative hits its notes in a pitch perfect way without always convincing its reader that this is a song worth hearing, the presentation in silk-screened form looks lovely, provides a tactile experience that reinforces the overall reading experience, and strangely makes the whole darn thing kind of hard to read. There were only 100 of these printed, and I can't imagine fans of this kind of handmade publishing effort will go away unsatisfied. Those used to something else will not be convinced by this package.

It's also worth a mention that this is one of the better sequences to introduce the title of the book that I've seen done in comics form -- more film than comic -- and I'm always surprised most people don't do that kind of thing more frequently.