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Hope You Remember: Jog takes on an 11/14 book with roots in the hallowed spring of 2006, when the world was young and we all were gleaming

Joe McCulloch

You want comic book delays? Issue #1 of this puppy hit the stands over seventeen months ago. I think the series was actually considered cancelled for a while, but now it’s back. Looking around online, it seems the creator’s DC work (whether in terms of simple time consumption or contractual obligation) got in the way…

My Inner Bimbo #2 (of 5): It’s pretty rare that reading someone’s comic makes me feel like I’ve actually invaded their privacy, but after this one I kinda want to fire off an email of apology to creator/writer/co-artist Sam Kieth urging him not to press charges, since I feel like I just finished breaking into his home and staring at things.

This is the latest Oni-published chapter of the most peculiar project Kieth’s produced in a long career of peculiar projects; while technically the second entry in a suite of connected b&w stories (following the 2004-05 miniseries Ojo), it stands alone as a symbol-dense study of a sensitive man’s troubled relationship with femininity, seemingly filtered through crypto-autobiography. An aging man named Lo, withdrawn from his significantly older wife, externalizes his own feminine personality — predictably, via the intervention of a magical trout — into a pink-clad airhead sex bomb that only he can see. But the bimbo begins to develop a hunger for maturity, and has a way of commandeering our man’s body into new places.

But it doesn’t act so straightforward. The book’s visually restless style (Josh Hagler is co-artist) leaps from detailed caricature to pencil sketches to photographic and video images, all crammed into wordy pages that constantly bounce back and forth through time, and in and out of Lo’s head, as he reflects on his most critical relationships with women. Pygmalion, Édouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass and the term “buttfuckeroo” all figure prominently.

While occasionally trying (and regrettably typro-prone), its cartoon invention and extreme emotional candor melt into a compelling personal iconography, the obscurity of which only aggravates its sense of personal revelation – if some comics adopt unadorned conveyance as a path to personal communication, this one acknowledges the traps inherent to simply communicating with yourself. Quite GOOD.

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