cover image Halcyon


Ron Regé, Jr. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-68396-511-4

Regé’s impressive follow-up to The Cartoon Utopia lays out a more detailed backdrop to his ongoing mystic explorations into esoteric spirituality, producing a comic that’s as delightfully challenging to parse as it is wondrous to look at. In the “New Cartoon Utopia,” a towheaded, wide-eyed young man is touched by an angel—in Regé’s rendition, a fearsome and sublime experience—and wakes up driven by inspiration. Elsewhere, in a teeming, futuristic city, a young woman has a revelation of her own and escapes her restrictive high-tech society. In time, boy and girl meet and join a utopian enclave in the wilderness. Regé’s kaleidoscopic narrative fuses fantasy, science fiction, theology, and hermeneutic visions, and the busy, technically precise, but ultrasimplified art is somehow the perfect visual distillation of all. Regé puts to paper angelic battles, dimensional travel, spiritual evolution, and such fleeting experiences as “the feeling of amnesia when falling into a dream in progress.” The densely composed pages dipped in Easter egg colors recall ecstatic manuscript illuminations à la William Blake—or assembly instructions from an Ikea located in heaven. Fans who got turned on to New Age by Regé won’t want to miss this book—everyone else will, at the very least, enjoy peeking into such dazzling art from a dazzling mind. (Feb.)