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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
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.
NBM Publishing Web Site: Previews of books available.
© 2001 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.
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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