12.07.2012

Enjoying A Threesome

Three Stories by Ian Andersen (Hic & Hoc Publications): "Packrat" opens this trio of great pieces by Ian Andersen and wears the Art Spiegelman influence on its abstract sleeve. This silent story follows a wandering being through several material discoveries which carry a more metaphysical message. The story is about finding and shaping your identity in the wilds of the world and works because of its bold simplicity and warm fluid shapes. I always get a kick out of subtle messages about anti-consumerism and the underlying distinction between focusing on one or two things exceptionally well vs. doing all kinds of things in a half-assed manner. "Pear" is the second offering from Andersen, which pairs robust inks and clear emotional content behind anthropomorphic creatures in territorial contention. This story seems to function well because of the way it addressed big serious topics in visually affable and approachable ways. It's basically a tie with "Packrat," but "Howl Hole" closes things out and might be my favorite piece in the book. It touches on the voyeuristic tendencies we all have (whether we admit them or not), and the simple fact that you just never know what's going on behind the scenes with other people, despite their outward appearance. As always, I'm impressed with the production quality from this publisher. They use markedly thick paper stock, sharp printing, vibrant colors, and a very professional aesthetic weight, which just gives "good hand" when you feel it. This was a nice introduction to a creator I was unfamiliar with and is further testimony about Matt Moses' Hic & Hoc Publications just being on fire creatively. Grade A.

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