Thursday, 27 September 2012

Swoon Now! Pachyderme

Pachyderme (SelfMadeHero) the story of a woman's journey through apparently inexplicable events as writer/illustrator Frederik Peeters takes a delicate line through a dream-like reality: Is the woman dreaming, is she hallucinating or is she part of some haunting supernatural tale as with Peeters previous, award-winning book Sand Castle (see here)? Yes, this is a book of subtle mystery of the kind that lends itself well to the medium of comics but can seem as if the story is randomly drifting along but as the late master Moebius states in his introduction to the book:

'...such things require mastery, a respect for technique, an art that remains impassive. The vaguer or hazier the things you're trying to communicate - things inside you - the more precise and exacting the tools of that communication must be... Choosing the path of the unconscious is the opposite of letting go.'

Peeters artwork has developed in each of his books from Blue Pills, Sand Castle (with writer Pierre Oscar Levyand) and now Pachyderme. Here he works in variations on a limited palate of colours that harmonise and contrast in equal measure and make every object feel like a thematic signifier. His line work appears more controlled and substantial but still remains almost as expressive as the great Will Eisner, of who I find Peeter's style is most reminiscent. For the less spoiler-conscious, Weirdfictionreview have an in-depth review (see here). Another strong contender for book of the year.

By the way, Pachyderma refers to abnormally thick skin; often something one needs to get through life...

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