cover image The Logos

The Logos

Mark de Silva. Clash, $34.95 trade paper (720p) ISBN 978-1-955904-22-3

In this provocative epic of ideas from de Silva (Square Wave), a contemplative painter struggles to fashion a new career. After the unnamed narrator’s girlfriend and muse leaves him, he flounders. Then, upon being spun into the orbit of eccentric tech mogul James Garrett, the artist agrees to tackle a publicity campaign for Garrett’s perception-altering products. His brief is to visually capture the essence of two emerging celebrities: Black football player Duke Briar and white actor Daphne Simmel, both of whom intrigue Garrett because they’re “nobody just yet” but are “becoming” stars. The narrator painstakingly explores how psychological, physical, and spatial aspects of perception inform one another, eventually admitting in his narration that he’s exploiting Duke and Daphne’s images: “The gap between desire and reality had been steadily collapsing for me... so that there was a new ease to my passage through the city and the world.” Throughout, there’s tremendous pleasure in the narrator’s insights about “the inner geometry of imagination,” and in the elaborate set pieces about the intricacies of football and theater. The result is an original, formidable portrayal of American commerce, where everything—including one’s vision—can be bought and sold. (Sept.)