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posted March 29, 2006

Creator: Frank Santoro
Publishing Information: Picturebox Inc., 48 pages, $5, 2006
Ordering Numbers:

imageIncanto I think means approximately "blissful dream," which would make it a wonderfully apt name for Frank Santoro's small, lyrical, frequently surreal comic book. Santoro uses three striking tools -- a limited, strong palette of colors; a loose but strong line that really shows itself off in the figure drawing, and a "narrative" that demands the reader piece together much of what's going on and just about all of what it means. All of these factors play off of one another. For instance, the colors both work against and provide support for the figure drawing; the narrative makes the reader pay attention to compositional clues that connect various characters. The end result is a book that works out of a place of suggestion instead of delineation, with a beauty that arises out of the very simple pleasure of lines and shapes that sugget balance and movement. My only worry when I read something like this is that the element of suggestion is being abused, that it's easier to suggest something that's not actually there. But the strong compositions make me think that this story and this world could be brought into bright, clear focus were it to serve the artist's intentions. This is a lovely little book.