cover image The Cartoon Utopia

The Cartoon Utopia

Ron Rege Jr.. Fantagraphics, $24.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-60699-596-9

Utopian visions of the future are rare in today's comics market and this hopeful work stands out as a rare, positive vision of the world that could be. In artist/writer Rege's vision, entities in a future world more fortunate than our own reach back through time to share with the modern era the hard-won insights of their era. Through the common medium of art, the people of the future attempt to enlighten their less fortunate predecessors; the condition of the future implies at least some degree of success. The cover design and the interior art are reminiscent of late 1960s/early 1970s psychedelia; the exuberance of the creator similarly parallels the energies of that optimistic, reformist era. Although Rege's detailed iconography is not at all like the visions of Hieronymus Bosch, they share a common degree of passion and their art offers a similarly intimate view of the creators. Although at times Rege's pages are overcrowded, Rege's worldview will no doubt remain particular to him, this work deserves wider attention and critical contemplation. (Nov.)