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Concrete Floor, Vol. 3
posted November 3, 2007


Creator: Tommi Musturi
Publishing Information: Boing Being, magazine, 20 pages, 2007
Ordering Numbers:

imageI am far from the natural audience for what some people call abstract comics, others call garbage, and I'd probably describe as comics that eschew representational art and progressive narratives for a gathering of drawings that emphasize a range of qualities within the drawings themselves and an arrangement that may not encourage story. Even typing that out made my head hurt. However, as much my taste might run elsewhere, I adore the fact that books like Tommi Musturi's Concrete Floor exist and I love getting a chance to read them every opportunity I can. Because of comics' history with commercially-driven restrictions and its recent legacy of modeled artistic excellence that inspires on an almost case to case basis, both factors that encourage many artists to reach after previously existing ways of doing comics, reading a book consisting of nothing but wild drawings can sabotage our expectations regarding what makes good comics art, even underlining a comic's visual component in terms of communicating information, a feel, emotional subtext. Books like this serve as a palate cleanser, a way of challenging the reader within to make sense of art beyond its nostalgic appeal and a feeling of what goes where.

As a bonus, Concrete Floor proves to be really fun to look over. The best drawings are thin-line, page edge to page edge swirls of component energy, the best being the two-page centerpiece. That drawing contains elements of not just buildings and landscapes and figure blending and what happens when those things relate in proximity to one another, it frequently suggests compelling through-lines of movement cut into that texture, where a couple of visual elements might work in conjunction to increase the length and even momentum of certain displays of energy. I've found myself looking at a few comics since in terms of such lines. Unlike the few comics in the US that could claim some kinship with this book, like Billy Mavreas' mini-comics of bunny imagery, Concrete Floor has a professional presentation, with heavy, slick pages and sharp printing of a kind that skips well past most other comics. If nothing else, it's an object from some sort of dream world where comics penetrate in such a broad way that this would be a viable commercial enterprise.