Crime at Babel by Martins Zutis (Mini Kus! #88)

Zutis smartly employs a vertical orientation to the layouts that bleeds off the page. "Babel" is aptly named considering the artist's fascination with language and meaning and the tower-like structures being played with, be them houses, libraries, or even arrangements in Mother Nature. I enjoyed the abstract representation of the books in particular, where a simple off-kilter line of color is meant to represent a leaning book, in succession with its shelved neighbors. The characters communicate in pictograph emoji-speak, as a mystery unfolds regarding a missing book. Crime at Babel rewards close reading, wherein subtle background clues dance around the page. It forces readers to pay attention to small details to grasp the narrative. Zutis understands that meaning, whether verbalizations or the pictures that represent them, are all just imprecise symbols that approximate and attempt to translate what we're actually thinking and feeling. 


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