5.08.2008

Spotlight on Ryan Claytor Continues!

And Then One Day #5 – Sketchbook Edition (Elephant Eater): As I become an aficionado of Ryan Claytor’s work, what I appreciate the most about this second major endeavor is his departure from the expected and willingness to experiment with the form. This issue is an extended journal/sketchbook hybrid that tests the definitions of the commonly accepted sub-genres in comics and still retains the charm of Claytor’s ability to illuminate the small moments in life. From what I’ve read so far, that theme transcends all of his work, regardless of the interesting tinkering he does with the format. It was a fun surprise to find an image of the downtown San Diego Santa Fe Railway Train Depot; it’s a location I’m quite familiar with, as the museum I work at occupies an adjacent space and shares the complex. If that’s my favorite image, my favorite line of prose was “…and tried to talk with him, or at least feel him a little bit. I really miss him.” Claytor describes kneeling in a Thai temple and experiencing the loss of a personal friend. It’s lines like these that hum with the simple, effective prose of Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories that make Claytor truly shine as a writer. An incredible thing happens when you force yourself to free write as he’s done in this journal/sketchbook. You find yourself pleasantly surprised at the insights that are revealed by your own hand when you’re forced to articulate what you feel or think about a given situation. If you’d like to further explore any of Ryan’s work, I highly recommend it: http://www.elephanteater.com/ Grade A.

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