Comics Daze Micro Edition

I’m leaving for London tomorrow, so I don’t have time to read comics all day today. But I got the most eagerly anticipated comic of the year in the mail yesterday (no, not that one), so I just have to read it before going away.

Even though it’s apparently not meant to be read in one session. (I avoid reading articles or interviews about something I’m going to read, but I got that detail off of the Xitters.)

Anyway… it’s readin’ time!

Colin Newman: Provisionally Entitled The Singing Fish-Not To

12:52: Sunday #1-X by Olivier Schrauwen (Colorama)

Heh… he starts with a helpful reading guide. As usual with Schrauwen, the book is presented as being about one of his relatives, and as usual, I’m assuming the book is total fiction.

So I guess this is riso printed? It looks really great.

So it’s this sorta stream of consciousness thing — we get a bit of Thibault’s internal monologue in most every panel.

As internal monologues go, this is a lot more convincing than most.

I love the rhythms of the storytelling…

Heh heh.

With the second issue, things take off — we start following a number of different characters (while the internal monologue continues throughout). There’s perhaps a dozen different characters, and at least half a dozen storylines, and it’s not immediately clear how they relate to each other, but thing become clear very fast.

It’s amazing, and it’s utterly engrossing. I mean, this sort of thing has been done before, of course, but here it’s so flabbergastingly fluid — it seems almost effortless, and I don’t know how he manages to do that. All the shifts seem logical and… interesting? There’s some slight befuddlement to keep the reader on their toes, but it’s just exciting throughout.

Every issue is printed in two colours. The blue is constant, but the other colour shifts between issues, which adds visual interest. However, I think perhaps they should have gone with a darker yellow? It’s just hard to make out what’s happening in some of these panels.

And, yes, two of the characters we’re following the storylines of are animals.

Heh heh. Chthonic.

Heh heh. Such Tintin.

Talking Heads: The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads

I don’t wanna go all excessive and stuff here, but this comic book is absolutely amazing. It’s utterly thrilling. All the different storylines are exciting; they all have such tension. And you want to strangle several of the characters; they’re so frustrating… but in a good way! For the story!

And it build and builds and becomes more and more dense as everything ties together (on many different levels), so I wasn’t expecting things to ever resolve.

But then, in issue X (the eight, which I didn’t snap pics from), Schrauwen changes storytelling approach, and it’s like *phew*. We get an entire issue to unwind from the tension and the stress of reading this book, and it’s just perfect.

This was apparently serialised over a number of years? I’m impressed that Schrauwen was able to keep things as consistent and structured; it reads as one complete work.

Reading it is an amazing experience. It’s 100% comics; this couldn’t have been done in any other art form.

I’m guessing a bigger publisher will pick up the book now and publish it all over the world? Probably in one volume? I’d recommend reading it in one setting, although I can see why Schrauwen says you shouldn’t: It’s a really dense and tense book, and it’s exhausting to read. But reading it slower might make you lose the thread(s), which would be a shame.

These books are still available from Colorama.

It sounds like they might be overwhelmed by people ordering them, though.

Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel 4

15:07: The End

And now I have to start packing.

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