Joe Kessler is a longtime, London-based comics maker closely associated with Breakdown Press (of which he is both a cofounder and art director). The Gull Yettin is Kessler's follow-up to his Angoulême Prize winning Windowpane. Most of those who are already familiar with Kessler's work have been waiting for this and don't need to know anything beyond the fact that it is finally available here in the States (having been published in France over a year ago). To those of you reading this who are not yet familiar with Kessler's work, we will let you know that Kessler's work is centered on visual rhythms and is noted for its bold – think Fauvist, perhaps even hyper-Fauvist – color schemes.
The Gull Yettin is an entirely wordless (pantomime) work, yet has no problem conveying its story and attendant emotional content. A lush portrayal of childhood that works largely in the mythic register, it weaves a fable that employs an animal/human hybrid to embody the conflicting forces flowing through childhood, while also making room to focus on he child's perceptions of their own coming of age; the intensity of the colors serving both to portray the surreal, dreamlike elements of childhood experiences and to convey the intensity of the emotions.
Get up to speed in this lengthy interview with Kessler conducted by no less than Dash Shaw, that focuses on The Gull Yettin and also provides a healthy helping of vibrant preview pages that will hep you as to where Joe is coming from. You will then be able to have a hand in determining where he's going.