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Vengeance at Cackling Mountain
posted September 20, 2005
Partykausa, 2005, 48 pages, $7
The two beautiful things that can be found in Vengeance at Cackling Mountain
are the way the figures work against the backgrounds and the way colors seize them both. Using a combination of silkscreen and Xerox, Shawn Cheng tells a very simple story of a mystical journey punctuated by violent, offbeat confrontation. The work lies in roughly the neighborhood as comics from Mat Brinkman and Jim Woodring; Cheng lacks their underlying control of narrative rhythm. Unlike a Brinkman story that may build its emotional and dramatic content in layers, Cheng's scenes jerk sideways suddenly; others roll to a slow stop. But the way lines break against one another to suggest mood, and the way that color lies on top of the figures to mark something that is barely contained or throws the eyes into specific parts of the panels, those are elements of a language that deserves to be used again.
You can find the prettily-constructed book for order here
, with preview pages that look much better than my scans.