A Body Beneath

Michael DeForge. Koyama (Consortium, dist.), $15 (152p) ISBN 978-1-927668-07-8
“Lose #1 is a very bad comic,” DeForge (Ant Comics, Very Casual) writes in the intro, by way of explaining why this collection of his ongoing comics anthology omits the first issue in the series. By issue #2, there’s really not a whole lot to complain about—DeForge has already hit a remarkable stride. Like many of his more avant-garde contemporaries, his art is often near-psychedelic abstractions. But unlike a majority of those peers, DeForge is nearly always grounded by a terrific knack for worldbuilding and storytelling. It’s not enough for his art to simply swirl and swim and float away—it exists in service of his stories, which live in a world where a profound delight is discovered in the deeply grotesque. In “Someone I Know,” the Lynchian horrors of Dan Clowes’s Like a Velvet Glove are taken to their Lovecraftian conclusion. “Canadian Royalty”—the funniest story in a very funny book—explores the downright shocking practices of that country’s monarchy. Not every story is quite as strong as those two, but all bring something fascinating to the proceedings, veering off in directions one never imagined at the outset. This collection is a strong indication of why DeForge is one of the best young cartoonists working. (May)■
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Comics
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