Monday, February 3, 2014

Brooklyn Quesadillas - Antony Huchette & Skyway Sleepless - Tom Kaczynski

ISBN 1-894994-79-5
6.5x9.5 inches, 72 pages, b/w softcover

I gotta thanks Joe McCulloch for getting Brooklyn Quesadillas into my attention. His quick description got me hooked.

Brooklyn Quesadillas tells the story of a new father trying to make it as a director. He's trying to produce a talk show that has a coffeepot as a host and a handful of talking animals. As this production continues and as we learn more about our character, he is kidnapped by a gang of 80s/90s sitcom actresses that use him to revive their careers. The actresses live in an island together and have a technology that keeps them forever young. Yep. As you can tell Brooklyn Quesadillas is a very interesting read.
Reading Brooklyn Quesadillas is like reading a Pee-Wee Herman Playhouse episode written by David Lynch. There's a lot of quirky surrealistic landscapes and situations that make reading Brooklyn Quesadillas a treat. Huchette does a great job keeping the reader on their toes and the reader never knows what will happen next. Even when you think you know what will happen, Huchette pulls the wool over your eyes and completely changes the game up. 

Hachette's linework really captured me. It reminds me of a mixture of Blutch and DeForge's linework. He has a great ability of capturing the weird and fantastical and absurdity of his characters and the world they inhabit; which is reminiscent of some of DeForge's work. Just like Blutch, Hachette can really capture very expressive and melodramatic movements that really caught my eye and got me grinning.

Brooklyn Quesadillas is the first English release of Huchette. I hope the success of this will make more of his work available to an English audience. I believe Huchette deserves all the attention because he is a new creator to be on the look out for and I can't wait to see what else he will do.

Skyway Sleepless

I got into Kaczynski's work because of Beta Testing the Apocalypse and reading his short stories was a revelation to me. Kaczynski's amazing ability to bring abstract philosophical, political and scientific thought and match it with his unique offbeat speculative sci-fi makes for an interesting read; a read where you can almost feel and touch such ideas and see them actually affecting individual lives to society as a whole. In a sense his mini-comics read more like essays done through a comic narrative.  
In Skyway Sleepless Kaczynski's envisions a future in which humans live in a vast and complex skyway system, in which architectural philosophy, Skylab and future crime/terrorism are interweave through noir/detective filter. 

Kaczynski puts us in a certain moment in which the skways are about to be drastically changed and we gain a sneak peak into the life and culture of the skways. There's a lot going on in Skyway Sleepless but a lot of its hefty ideas are underneath the skin, teased at but never fully explored or talked about: from the social class system to the prediction of future crimes to the structure and rules of the skyway. This leaves a lot to imagine for the reader and allows a level of openness for us to fill in the gaps.

Kaczynski's linework just keeps getting better and better with every release. There's more confidence in what he's trying to visually tell. He's gotten more realistic with his line and his ability to express his characters emotions has gotten a lot better too. His linework has an ability of giving the reader a foreboding and paranoid feel. That there's always something around the corner and when you face it, it will hurt you.

I was really taken by
Skyway Sleepless and it's exercise on future prediction of crime and its ability to capture a state of emotional uncertainty at one perspective on the future.

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