cover image Signal To Noise

Signal To Noise

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Dark Horse, $24.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-616552-68-8

Originally serialized in The Face in the early ‘90s and wearing its age handsomely, Gaiman and McKean’s collaboration feels ahead of its time while also resembling something from another era—less like a comic, more like storyboards for a heady teleplay. Gaiman’s story follows a filmmaker facing his own mortality, in the form of a tumor that heralds a quick end. Previously preparing to make a movie about the turn-of-the-millennium dread in the year 999 C.E., the director is now working to create it in his own mind before expiring (he believes that his mental version would be purer than anything he could bring to the screen). Gaiman’s typically multiplane narrative shifts between the thoughts and emotions of the man during his final days and the historical drama unfolding in his head, asking questions about what art is and what is merely its shadow, as well as examining the meaning of death and the possibility of immortality. McKean’s signature mix of photorealism and an often-abstract surrealism, which can disconcert the reader (in a good way), expands the psychological and spiritual scope of Gaiman’s script. (Dec.)