The Backstage of a Dishwashing Webshow

Keren Katz. Secret Acres, $21.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-9991935-5-6
Katz reflects a distorted fun house version of modern college life in this experimental graphic narrative that follows Rivi, a former air traffic controller who enrolls in Mount Scopus Academy, a “school specializing in transmutation.” Riva’s roommate, Novak, runs a popular webshow in which she washes dishes on camera (“the webcam is positioned over the sink, capturing only the hands”). When Yakov, a fan of the show, vanishes, it sets off a series of bizarre disappearances, transformations, and reversions to the past. All of this takes place within the framing metaphor of an enormous rotating theater where the performers wander from stage to stage, mixing up props and getting entangled in one another’s stories. The dreamlike narrative is illustrated with colorful, flowing full-page drawings of elegant and elongated human figures in ballooning clothes, always in motion and mixed with birds, architecture, and abstract shapes and patterns, all creating the sense of an unstable, crazy quiltlike reality. With minimal text, Katz’s art loosely recalls highly stylized Art Noveau illustrators like Aubrey Beardsley or Harry Clarke crossed with a jumbled surrealist sensibility. While the resulting art object is more of a formal exercise, Katz’s arresting style will attract art comics admirers. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Comics
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