Saturday, 28 June 2014

Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrorer

I always like to imagine the people I admire, be they authors, artists or scientists, as being friends of mine. Talent is just an attractive trait and if you've got it, I want to be friends with you. So, to my mind at least, Gfrörer is now one of my besties.

Her comic is aptly named "Black is the color" and it is beautiful. Beautiful in a way an H bomb is beautiful - - devastating - but also glorious and full of light. The brief bio at the back of her comic states that "her name rhymes with despair, and her heart is as black as jet". And wow; the comic. Let's just say, you wouldn't expect anything less from a jet black heart. The story is woven through with so many moments of intimacy and horror, that by the end of it I was left with a weird mix of sadness and hope meshed together. I wasn't exactly sure where one stopped and the other started. So yeah, Black is the colour" is a little bit of an emotional fucking rollercoaster, frankly.

The art was divine. The lines were so fine and detailed, and each line told a little more about the story, until you got to the end of them and just felt blasted and wrung out. It was so beautifully drawn, I had to stop and slow down from time to time to truly see how those lines made the wind move, the boats move and the sea move from panel to panel. The detail slows you down, but in a good way, and it richly deserves the time you spend on it.

I should mention that the book features mermaids. These creatures are anything but the ethereal beauties sometimes imagined, and they offer a light, teenage contrast to the flagging human, who serves as the center of this tale. The death in this book is shot through with immature prattle, which makes it light and a little sick and twisted at the same time.

In the end; did I get the full gist of this book's message? I think so, but more at an emotional level than an intellectual one. "Black is the colour" illustrates the horror and banality of our existence - and the beauty of our death; especially when there's someone loving there at the end to help take you away.

I hope I go like that. Thanks for the insight, Gfrörer, old pal.

Buy it here (seriously recommended)

Read it here (cheapskate!):

Amie Maxwell
Faction co-editor

Must... Read... Comics...!

Hi peeps - hopefully you're already familiar with our anthology, Faction, which Amie and I edit. Well, it turns out that just making comics ourselves isn't enough. So we've decided to review them as well.

We'll also post updates about Faction here, as well as what other people are saying about our comic (fairs-fair) as the reviews pour in.

Hopefully it will be thrilling.