cover image Brat


Michael DeForge. Koyama, $19.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-927668-60-3

Drenched in irony, this jab at consumer rebellion starts in faux-confessional mode, with the 33-year-old art provocateur Mrs. D. wondering if her time is past: “My actions were originally politically motivated, but I guess the whole thing got away from me.” Having somehow turned a youth filled with public pranks into a TV and music career, she now wonders—like many an aging, malaise-filled rebel—what there is left to do. DeForge (A Western World) depicts his characters as elongated rubber-limbed sprites dashing across vaguely sinister backgrounds, in bright sunset colors. Mrs. D. proves a canvas for others to project their hopes and wishes onto, like the cop who admires her “art installation,” which is really just the ashes of a police car she set on fire. The cult around her record as a take-no-prisoners “juvenile delinquent” is broken by the rocky truth of Mrs. D’s deadened, sheltered-celebrity present, typified more by roaring benders (visualized by dripping acid-test montages) than any creative or rebellious impulse. The eager fandom of an intern who’s also an “aspiring juvenile delinquent” refracts her past back at her. DeForge’s feints at both the cyclical appropriation of radical fury into mainstream culture, and the mistaking of mere temper tantrums for true rebellion make for smart and insightful surrealist satire. [em](Sept.) [/em]