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AmnesiaReview - Amnesia
A Graphic Novel
by John Molloy
NBM Publishers, 2001
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Nov 18th 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 46)

In 64 pages, John Molloy tells the story of Chloe, a writer for an arts magazine, who travels from L.A. to Baltimore to interview alternative film-maker and hip novelist Ike Reuben. The art uses a mixture of styles. Some pages, mostly those depicting life in the present, are drawn in a harsh black and white, while others, mostly flashbacks, are drawn and painted in more subtle grays, and then the ones depicting a different realm use computer-distorted photographic images of real people. We learn about Chloe's past, her messed-up life, and her worship of Ruben. We see Ruben's dysfunctional relationship with his girlfriend, and his strange dreams. There's a subplot with a crazy son of an automobile manufacturer, who is plotting to create havoc by randomly blowing up cars made by his father's company. And there's a science-fiction theme, a little reminiscent of The Matrix or even Contact. It's very much in the "you are now entering a different realm" theme, and that's a time-tested idea, even if it's a bit tired. It brings up the "is this an illusion or is this reality" question, which of course is normally worth asking. It's interesting that the pictures based on photographs look the strangest here, and they work well for a dream or "other world" sequence. Although I have to say that the woman in the owl mask just looks silly. To be honest, what I liked most about the story was the depiction of Baltimore, which made me quite nostalgic for the city I retain a great deal of fondness for. I can well imagine that as Molloy gets more experienced with mixing the media of photography and comic art together, he will develop less fantastic stories and will play to his strength of portraying the tension and love in human relationships.

Link:
NBM Publishing Web Site: Previews of books available.

© 2001 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life. He is available to give talks on many philosophical or controversial issues in mental health.


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