Recently I’ve been revisiting the surrealist comic book authors who have successfully conveyed the kind of disruption of reality which I experience in dreams. I want to pinpoint the ways in which they have been able to successfully communicate and provoke a kind of emotional dissonance with their work.
Neil Gaiman (and by extension, artist Dave McKean) immediately comes to mind, specifically on his long-running and groundbreaking series; The Sandman, but also in works like Black Orchid and The Books of Magic. In many ways this is the most linear representation of truly surreal environments that I can think of. He provides us with entire universes of insane, nonsensical, mythical imagery and logic, but he presents each story in a very direct, linear manner. His way of telling a story in this context is very much like a fairytale, with one event leading inevitably to the next, it is deceptively comfortable, almost hiding the craziness inside. When he does move the storyline towards something more evocative of chaos (i.e. towards the end of the books) he still lays all of the elements out carefully so that by the end the reader can happily piece together a logical continuity (that is to say it is logical within the context of the universe he has created). Continue Reading »
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is J. H. Williams III, and the issue is Seven Soldiers #1, which was published by DC and is cover dated December 2006. Enjoy! Continue Reading »
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks (more or less), with each week devoted to a single writer. This week: Grant “Putting me with Williams is just asking for the book to be delayed two or three decades, man!” Morrison. Today’s page is from Seven Soldiers of Victory #1, which was published by DC and is cover dated December 2006. Enjoy! Continue Reading »