John Malloy, Author . NBM $9.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-56163-296-1

Two kindred souls, Chloe (a journalist) and Ike Reuben (a filmmaker and novelist whom Chloe is seeking to interview), meet and find that their lives are connected through a web of dreams and alternative realities. Chloe's trip to interview Reuben is interrupted by the mysterious bombing of her rental car, which leads to a series of flashbacks to both of their pasts. First-time cartoonist Malloy offers readers a story of a future society marked by the merging of science and mysticism. But his awkwardly paced storytelling is often hard to follow. Malloy has produced an experimental work of nonlinear storytelling that bounces unpredictably between flashback, dream sequences and first-person reflection. Alas, the plot is wildly disjointed, and the book's strengths—the flashbacks and narrative reflections on Chloe's past—are overwhelmed by an ending that is both unsatisfying and unintentionally funny. Although many of Malloy's expressive b&w renderings look quite good, the mixed-media artwork—a combination of hand-rendered drawings, photographs and computer manipulation—is often murky, and the book's narrative drive is disrupted by convoluted page designs. While Malloy has obvious ambition and talent, he hasn't harnessed that talent to present a coherent, meaningful narrative. (July)

Reviewed on: 03/25/2002
Release date: 09/01/2001
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