Very Casual

Michael DeForge. Koyama (Conundrum, dist.), $15 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-0-9879630-7-9
Prolific young Canadian-born avant-garde artist DeForge has become one of his generation’s most admired cartoonists, and this is his first sizable collection. Most of the work here has appeared in a barrage of minicomics, small-press publications and Web comics. Many of DeForge’s comics center on body horror: in “Sweet Tat,” a popular band is made up of ugly lumps of flesh who infect their fans with a terrible disease, and some of the wordless comics deal with bodies that morph in more or less disturbing ways. DeForge’s work is most powerful when he engages in world-building, however. In “Spotting Deer,” which is rendered in delicate colors, the life of the mysterious eponymous creature is revealed—flesh from a special organ is harvested at farms so the deer can make a living. And in “Cody,” a man explores the tense and exciting world of artistic littering. As in several of the comics here, there’s a roman à clef aspect to “Cody.” DeForge appears as a character and littering can be read as a metaphor for cartooning itself. While often willfully unsettling, DeForge’s work resonates on many levels. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Comics
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