Review: Aama is intelligent, mind-bending science fiction with a core of humanity

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Taking the idea of awareness and screwing with it from multiple vantage points — self-awareness, awareness of the space around you, familial awareness, scientific awareness, societal awareness — Aama addresses, among other things, the notion of a hive mind and presents mankind as a damaged entity, one in which each part is out of sync […]

Review: Michael DeForge’s ‘Big Kids’ tells us something about ourselves

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Millennials are often portrayed by the older generation – my own, to be clear – as a generation of victims. Like most cross-generational proclamations, this is a self-righteous pile of bull built from Gen Xers’ and Boomers’ stumbling reading of Millennial discourse, as well as some resentment for our own repression and the ability of […]

Review: New York Review of Books’ new comics line is off to an amazing start

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It was a fantastic day for artful, intelligent comics when the New York Review of Books added comics to its publishing line. The focus so far is on making obscure graphic novels available again, and the March 22 release of Mark Beyer’s riotous Agony sets an interesting tone for the line. Beyer’s work, which is about the size […]

Review: Roman Muradov’s ‘The End Of A Fence’ is cryptic, but beautiful

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Immensely talented Russian illustrator Roman Muradov has quickly established himself as one of the most complex cartoonists around, both visually and narratively. In Muradov’s hands, the simplest fable can become a massively abstracted exercise that is usually part giddy, part confounding. If you’ve been alienated from his previous work because of this, The End Of […]

Review: ‘The Tipping Point’ unites science fiction themes with human psychology

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Part of the celebration of 40 years of international publisher Humanoids, this anthology gathers some great talent to explore the idea of forks in the roads, those moments of life discovery that are like Schrodinger’s Cat for human emotion. As with any anthology, the results vary, but there’s a lot of good here, particularly considering these […]

Review: Tommi Musturi shows that hope isn’t easy

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Finnish cartoonist Tommi Musturi’s The Book Of Hope is as mysterious and elusive as the human being it examines. Set in a family cottage following retirement, Musturi settles into his narrator position calmly in order to scribe, without judgment or even much push for clarity, the experience of one man as he inhabits the time […]

Review: Nick Drnaso gives us 2016’s first great work with ‘Beverly’

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Nick Drnaso’s fictional world is a particularly joyless one where even coming together doesn’t much help the human condition. It might even make things worse. As depicted in the Drnasoverse, each human has their own internal monologue that other humans are shut out from, and this creates distance, alienation, and confusion. Since one of us […]

Review: The Red Drip Of Courage distills Stephen Crane to a cartoon essence

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You can go for years reading comics and come upon plenty of bizarre works, but at least understand where these are coming from. It’s more rare to hit on one that are more confounding, the ones that make you ask questions like “Where did this come from?” and “Who would do this?” So it is […]

Review: Meags Fitzgerald continues to her autobiographical innovations with Long Red Hair

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In Meags Fitzgerald’s previous book, Photobooth: A Biography, which documented just about anything you ever wondered about photo booths, she went far beyond her central subject, wrapping in segments of autobiography, making it a work about a wider swathe that her more intimate moments exist within. For Long Red Hair she does the exact opposite, focusing […]

Review: Two rich offerings in Nobrow’s 17 x 23 series

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Nobrow Press’ 17 x 23 series highlights accomplished smaller works in a pleasing package that speaks to graphic novel consumers who might not seek out short comics stories. Two recent releases are particularly success in the way they take story forms of old and present them through a modern lens, making traditional lessons applicable to […]