Funnybook Babylon

May 13, 2008

Some New Kind of Slaughter #1 & #2 – or – Rainy Day Review #12 & #35

Filed under: Blurbs — Joseph Mastantuono @ 8:04 pm

My great discovery at the NYCC was that Archaia Studio Press is printing comics that aren’t just about adorable mice wandering in well drawn woods with swords. They have an incredible range of comics. Unfortunately, I hadn’t heard of a single one of them before the con. I picked up a few of their books, flipping through their selection and grabbing the ones that caught my eye, and I came home with a few books that were *quite* good. There seems to be something in the air over at ASP, because they are creating some high quality work that’s been overlooked, at least by me and my local comic shop.

I’ll start with a review the first two issues of ‘Some New Kind of Slaughter ~or~ Lost in the Flood (and How We Found Home Again) Diluvian Myths from around the world’ written by A. David Lewis and drawn by MPMann.

Slaughter1

Drawing upon African, Sumerian, Judeo-Christian, and Asian storytelling traditions, this book is a retelling of flood myths from different cultures all interwoven along with a modern story of a scientist in the present whose tale of dealing with an incoming storm parallels the flood myths of the past.

slaughter2

The first thing that will catch your eye with this book is that it is presented in a wide format, so that while the magazine looks like a regular comic, while reading you turn it to its side and flip the pages upwards as opposed to sideways. The act of flipping upwards gives the book an almost archaic feel as if you are reading a scroll, giving it you a sense of discovery as you flip each subsequent page upwards.

The book firmly attaches itself to a flattened style without much use of perspective, at some points evoking a wood block etching, at others a hieroglyph or even the cave paintings of Lascaux seem to have some resonance in this work. It feels very deliberate, and very much works to tell the different mythic stories.

slaughter02_01

The strong character design strangely reminded me at times of the work of French animator Albert Barillé, who produced epic historical and educational cartoons in the 70’s & 80’s that were ubiquitous in my youth, whose work was unfortunately marred by a Manichean world view. Complex conflicts were boiled down to good buys and bad guys who had the same character design no matter the Historical Period. I bring this up, only because A. David Lewis and MPMann manage to do the reverse, they imbue each time period with it’s own idiosyncrasies and styles, and yet tell a story that reveals how deeply relevant these ancient flood myths are today.

Go check this out right now. This book isn’t a simple allegory on global warming, it is a revelation about humanity and our continued relationship with their environment.

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Joseph,

    Thanks for the kind words about Some New Kind of Slaughter. ASP is indeed behind a number of fine books, and I’ve been privelaged to have produced several of them.

    A. David Lewis and I first collaborated on The Lone and Level Sands, which he wrote and I illustrated (with colors by Jennifer Rodgers). LaLS won the Day Prize at SPACE and was nominated for three Harveys.

    My second book was Inanna’s Tears, written by Rob Vollmar (The Castaways and Bluesman; NBM.) IT saw the first two issues in print late last year and is planned for release as an OGN this fall.

    A. Dave and I returned with SNKS, which actually we co-wrote as Dave was beginning his doctoral studies at Boston U.

    And finally, The Grave Douig Freshley is due out any day now. WRitten by Josh Hechinger its a comedis western about a dead cowboy and a nine year old on the trail of the ones what done them wrong.

    Check out ASP’s website: http://www.archaiasp.com/ for more on the range of books they offer, or visit my own site: http://www.cosmorynth.com for a look at my many projects.

    And thanks again for taking the time to read through the first half of Some New Kind of Slaughter!

    Comment by Marvin Mann — May 16, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

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