OPUS VOLUME 2: Time Rise

Barry Windsor-Smith, Author . Fantagraphics $49.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-56097-393-5

The second volume of Windsor-Smith's planned five-volume memoir continues the episodic narrative of his "sudden expansion of consciousness" during the early 1970s. Set in New York City, this autobiography explores visionary experiences that shook the foundations of his conception of reality. Told in a matter-of-fact, confessional tone that belies the incredible tale he offers, this book is part biography, part metaphysics treatise on the nature of consciousness, as well as a stunning collection of the art he has produced over a 30-year span. Early in '73, as Windsor-Smith labors over his drawing table, a disembodied voice begins questioning his chosen course in life. Later, the secondhand furniture in his apartment communicates vivid, tragic memories of former owners. He sees "light people" (beings apparently from another plane of existence) walking the streets of Manhattan and is convinced that the pedestrians walking next to him are zombies. These fantastic reminiscences culminate in a "time tunnel" that carries him back to his boyhood bedroom, where he watches his younger self quivering in fear of his own visitation. His lengthy reflections on the time loops, precognition, psychometry, astral travel, telepathy—all described as firsthand experience—are fascinating, although his dense text is sometimes ponderous and self-indulgent. His prodigious artistic output is represented with richly detailed reproductions of sketches, drawings, watercolors and oil paintings from his Conan the Barbarian period to his Pre-Raphaelite–style romantic fantasies. While not as groundbreaking as Windsor-Smith may suggest, this is nonetheless a compelling and beautiful book. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-1-56097-367-6
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-60699-087-2
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