When despair hits, when ennui gets you down, it's art to the rescue... or not. Drawn employing an extreme clear line style throughout, in an unvarying 12-square-panel grid, in The Idiot it is the art itself that is the ultimate embodiment (reflection?) of the central theme of the work, that of a detached, machine-like process of art creation. Alwani, in so doing, has created a comics fable of Marx's dictum of the worker being alienated from their own labor under capitalism. Alwani's protagonist artist struggles to reclaim his connection to his self and to regain control of the direction of his being... but is this even possible?
Yes, you can read this entire work online (here, if you must know), but that's not really the same, is it? And won't doing so further the reader's (you, perhaps, in this instance) alienation from their own self, by submitting to the über-capitalism of the increasingly omnipotent digital realm? Whereas, by purchasing the physical work, the reader (again, perhaps, you) connects with the artist (by a mere one degree of separation, should you purchase it from Copacetic, as we received our copies directly from Alwani) and the physical world you both inhabit?
Think about it... and decide for yourself.
Now enters is third year of publication with a makeover. With this issue, the paper stock has switched from glossy stock to a medium weight, flat white paper. Good call: it looks and feels great; a bit more heft. As a result, it's price has increased to $12.99, but at a chock full 128 pages of great (mostly) full color comics, it's still a bargain!
And, more importantly, this issue features a stellar line up of comics creators, including many a Copacetic fave:
In the 21, full color pages of "The Gigs," E.S. Glenn shows the comics reading world what he is capable of. Socially constructed barriers between memory, dream, fiction and reality dissolve in Glenn's spirit world of clear line comics (and comics within comics!) in this densely packed (magnifying glass, anyone?), multi-layered graphic novella that takes readers deep into the comics dimension . Get ready for a treat!
The inimitable Sami Alwani really knocked himself out here, with his piece,"The Misfortunes of Virtue," which is actually an agglomeration of short bits that coheres together into a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts, an oroboros look at the artist in society that turns things inside-out and back again.
Noah van Sciver revisits a prior work in a meta/auto-bio take on "Saint Cole."
Walt Holcombe's "Cheminant avec Emily" integrates a poster graphics æsthetic with comics to illuminate the soundtrack of romance.
With "The Intoxicated," Maggie Umber employs a minimal but evocative black and white rendering reminiscent of faded celluloid images, to good effect.
Tara Booth takes on "Binge Eating."
New-to-us talents, Veronika Muchitsch, Henry McCausland and Zuzu all turn in excellent and quite varied pieces.
And it all starts off with an eye-catching Al Columbia cover followed by a Theo Ellsworth one-pager.
The New Now is here!