1.27.2014

Another Glorious Day at The Nothing Factory [Small Press]


Another Glorious Day at The Nothing Factory (Self-Published by Eroyn Franklin): This is Eroyn Franklin’s most compelling work to date, an ethereal experience that mirrors falling in and out of love with a heavy heart. The opening passages reveal an impending divorce and the remaining expanse of the hardcover graphic novel is a self-exploration as to why, how, and what it all means. Franklin’s protagonist, who we assume is an autobio cipher to at least some degree, is surrounded by a city filthy with reminders of togetherness, and finding it impossible to erect new monuments of solitary identity, she seeks refuge in a rural retreat. 

The entire book is constructed on black paper, with what looks like white cutout figures laid over them. On the left pages, there’s white text against those black backgrounds. On the right pages, we find the silhouettes of the figures, these two opposing series continue for the length of the project, continually at odds, words and feelings vs. pictures and perceptions. Franklin has such a way with pointed language, whether it’s noting how little effort is required to maintain her broken heart, mundane gems like the fact that a tube of toothpaste can sometimes outlive a relationship, or explaining that “I grew up in the suburban footprint of a giant city” as she recounts her life, family, and relationships.

The deeper into Another Glorious Day that the reader gets, the more they realize that the approach to this book isn’t some obtuse exercise in autobiographical navel-gazing, the industry is all stocked up on that quotidian fodder, but rather, Franklin has presented us something of a blank canvas with these black backgrounds, white silhouettes, and deliberately not mentioning names – we know the characters only as “the husband,” or “the sister.” It allows us to imprint our own people, lives, and little dramas onto to the work. It allows us to instantly connect because we see the shades of ourselves reflected in someone else’s story.

By the end, Franklin’s wry bitter observations about wanting bad things “to satiate some soured part of me” are just so remarkable in their honesty. Another Glorious Day at The Nothing Factory is forthcoming, ambitious, and we get the sense that the art wasn’t the thing for her, but occupying her mind with an exercise that forced her to sort out her feelings was, yes, catharsis was the primary driver for Franklin when crafting this book. It’s her most personal, revealing, and artistic expression to date, within an expanding line of strong offerings. Between all the heartache, turmoil, and honesty manifested as artistry, it’s obvious that Eroyn Franklin is a creator to watch. Grade A+.

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