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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Amnesia (Experimental) (Fantasy) (Graphic Novel)

By John Malloy  

Publisher: NBM Publishing (September 1, 2001)

Softcover, 64 pages

A journalist has a meeting with a pop artist, which then plunges into a hallucinatory exploration of their pasts, possible futures, alternate lives, and dead ends. The artist is somehow able to slip between the cracks of reality during his sleep and take residence in the body of his other selves in alternate worlds. The pair discovers their pasts are actually what can set them free, and that the line between memories and dreams is finer than they could ever imagine.

The narrative begins fine with excellent art and a rambling exploration of the first narrator’s life, leading by synchronicity to the point outside of the interview. But it takes a wrong turn, style wise, with part two, which begins to incorporate real-life photography with the art. I understand that this is to demonstrate the various shades of reality that the characters are tumbling through, so much so that no one is quite sure what is real, but the use of actual photos was a poor choice. They didn't translate well with the 2001 technology (when the book was published). The photos are grainy and, worst of all, boring to look at. Perhaps if he had stuck to one or two of them, but at least a quarter of the book is done in photos.
It is a pity because the book had potential, with an interesting take on the nature of reality, or an adaptation of reality. However, it ultimately took a wrong turn. Some criticism states that the art is a rip-off of McKean’s style, and it is similar. However, if you can draw as well as him, I say more power to you.
  For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst.

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