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HauntedReview - Haunted
by Philippe Dupuy
Drawn and Quarterly, 2008
Review by Christian Perring
Jun 3rd 2008 (Volume 12, Issue 23)

Haunted is a collection of seven fantasies by comic/graphic artist Philippe Dupuy.  Most of them are what he calls "Run Movies" because he has them as he is jogging.  They are bizarre and surreal, with the same sort of logic in the narrative as dreams, featuring talking animals and impossible events.  They are quite disturbing, featuring violence and breaches of the natural order.  Yet they are also funny and occasionally whimsical.  The drawing is surprisingly crude, given the sophistication of some of Dupuy's other work.  There are few words, so most of the narrative is conveyed through the drawings.  Reading them feels like getting a glimpse of Dupuy's unconscious, and it's a little disturbing, although no more so than it would be seeing anyone else's deepest fears and thoughts expressed in fantasy form.  This is a very unusual work, and it is hard to know what to make of it.  It is entertaining to read through quickly, but then you feel as if you must be missing the deeper meaning.  Is it worth it to study and look for the themes running through these stories, and to interpret the symbolism?  That may depend on whether you are the kind of person who likes interpreting other people's dreams.  For me, it is too much like hard work, and the coarseness of the artwork reduces the pleasure of looking at the pages repeatedly.  For others, especially those who are long time fans of Dupuy's work, it might be worth it.

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© 2008 Christian Perring

Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.


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