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The Awake Field
posted March 1, 2006
Ron Rege, Jr.
Drawn and Quarterly, 52 pages, $7.95
Some days I'm convinced that Ron Rege, Jr. is one of the greatest cartonists in the world, and other days he fails to register at all. There are a few moments in the reading of The Awake Field
(or, if you prefer, Yeast Hoist
#13) that get me thinking of all the sublime moment Rege supplies, that stuff that leaps out at the reader in such a delicate, pitch-perfect way you're afraid to move your head as if it's something you can shake off. These include strange avatars drifting up to the sky against beautifully rendered thin-line backgrounds in "The Awake Field," the effortless adaptation that drives "The Hazard Rocks," and the energy that the dancing figures display in "Finding Privacy in the Hypnotists Ballroom." There's something about the exquisite world that Rege presents that can makes it difficult and overwhelming to engage in longer forms, and something about the emotions he chooses to develop in his work that can sabotage his stories when they're too short. But here, with a slightly longer time to buld single ideas, the idiosyncratic material shimmers, making for a nice little art object in comics form. You'll likely know by looking at it if it's not for you, or if you can't live without it.