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posted June 27, 2006
Fantagraphics/Coconino Press, 32 pages, Ignatz Series, August 2006, $7.95
This is freakishly gorgeous, and the stories, explications of enthusiasms enjoyed and experiences suffered by the author as a child, are wonderful, richly realized and occasionally spooky as hell, playing in and out of each other in fascinating ways -- wars within and without, rites of manhood and acts of suffering, the interior and exterior. But really, I could just look at the pictures. You know what? I just did, I stopped typing and looked at the damn pictures.
It's wonderful watching a skilled practitioner at work, let alone one good enough to make you forget the show and force you to draw in the experience like a sudden, shocking aroma. A nine-panel grid of faces that ends in a perfectly timed laugh, warriors stabbing at each with a wild collection of spears, hair that follow the same strange logic, small boys leaping around a house and studying oh so intently some object of fascination, faces that contort and transform, objects that enter into fantasy that do little to comfort, body sizes and angles and distortions... I would also read Babel
to get the writer's sense of a world so different than my own but processed in much the same way, but my goodness the quality of the visuals makes following this story and its smaller components a distinct pleasure. There's, that my review: pictures that make you sigh and stop talking.