2.02.2009

Graphic Novel Of The Month

Kissing Chaos: Volume 1 (Oni Press): It’s an oldie, but a goodie. A few years ago, Arthur Dela Cruz created this tale about a crime spree, kids on the run, and a swirl of media hype and danger lurking around every corner. Those elements alone are a very entertaining read, but within all of that is also a haunting and ethereal love story with beautiful romantic notes and plenty of surprises. Dela Cruz’s moody black and white tones perfectly blend together with the wistful words. One of the principal characters, Angela, narrates this 8 issue mini-series in which Oni Press experimented with the digest size pamphlet format. I thought the format was great fun, but it must not have proven cost effective, as they never attempted it again. Though the series appears to be out of print, I frequently find copies in dollar and quarter bins even years later, so it’s not impossible to track down. This Eisner Award nominee seemed to just fizzle away. While another 4 issue follow up series was also produced (Volume 2: Nonstop Beauty), that wasn't met with as much critical success. A couple of stand alone one-shots also dribbled out before the property became a sporadic web-comic, but then… it evaporated into the ether. It’s a shame, because I’d like to see more from either this property or this talented creator. Kissing Chaos was a unique experience, for me it helped define the publisher's burgeoning line, and was one of the best books ever published by Oni Press. Grade A+.

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