Definitely a complex book. I haven’t read too much of his oeuvre, but a good chunk of what I have read is very dreamscape in nature. This one pretty much pulled it together in the end to be a full-fledged low-key world of wonder, eschaton-sated numb-locked publicity pamphlet where all the characters turn out performances welcoming you into the days of death cults reminiscent of the Manson family, weather underground days and feminist women’s liberation fronts turned bomb brigades, the great ocean father who gives us a pristine spirit birth but we end up in the muck-bred shallows of limb-less fish struggling for the shore. Over the course of ten issues of the comic book ‘Eightball’ this graphic novel emerged, and it must have been a crazy ride for those receiving it in installments. I was only able to read about half last time I got it from the library, and it was amazingly surreal on first encounter. But I didn’t have time to finish it. This second time around, it was a fast read, and I think would give much on re-reading. I’m just not sure if I wouldn’t be giving much of what I re-‘read’ into it.
There’s a lot going on, but as in a dream (and I guess in life, too, if we’re being critical), one event does not necessarily follow upon another. Initially setting out to investigate an actress he finds intriguing in a pornographic movie he sees in an adult theater with some clues from an all-knowing seer in the mens room, he sets out on his quest upstate, after borrowing his friend’s car (the friend who currently has his eyes set out of his head so some deep sea crustaceans can eat out the bacteria that are plaguing him, the medical treatment for this particular eye ailment.
He is stopped by the police, given the choice of being beaten or arrested, and is subsequently beaten and ‘marked’ by a knife carving the shape of a cult or mysterious symbol which is then remarked on subsequently by various conspiracy theorists during the course of the remaining books.
The figure, ‘Mr. Jones’:
So, in this ‘main character’, if you can call the ‘person’ who is ‘leading’ this quest that, although it feels more like you are being dragged through these happenings, merely waltzing through these streets like some infamous patient etherized upon a table… you come to meet all sorts of unsavory characters, who are savored in the lush drawings and brought up again and again face to face with your confessional booth of a confrontation where the page asks you just what the hell is going on, or whatever… whatever you think, as you continue reading…
So, it is what it is. I would definitely read it, had I not.
And I may just, read it again.