Vivisectionary

Kate Lacour. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-68396-212-0
Lacour depicts the surgical drawings, magic, and vices of imagined terrifying worlds in this delightfully disgusting compendium of the grotesque, her trade debut after publishing a number of mini-comics. The surreal volume is styled like the journals of a demented doctor and details impossible procedures: the use of unicorn horns as injectable drugs, the transformation of arms and brains into genitalia, supermarket ground beef knit into human brains. Lacor contrasts these hallucinatory visions with dry, academic terminology: diagrams of cannibalism and mutilation are labeled “neural groove stage” and “somite formation.” The rigidity of the faux-instructive framing and Lacour’s use of delicate watercolors undergird the volume’s flourishes. Exquisitely drawn open sores, flayed skin, and blooming lilies are all delineated with precise washes of color, rendering the entire book a true visual delight. Lacour’s triumph comes as she mixes the mundane and the macabre so effectively that the reader cannot help but feel alienated by depictions of blossoms and butchery alike. Her work engenders horror of the deepest sort, and it lingers in the mind for hours. Lacour doesn’t just unnerve her audience—she draws nightmares so precisely that viewers can’t help but admire them–despite wishing they could look away. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/16/2019
Release date: 07/09/2019
Genre: Comics
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