mini kuš! #87 ‘Violent Delights’
Mini kuš! #87 'Violent Delights' (excerpts), 2020.
Originals: Pigment markers and archival ink pens on Bristol paper. Book: Full-color digital print. 28 pages.
Written in English.
In 2019, I was invited by the Latvian publisher kuš! to publish a solo comic for their celebrated comic book series mini-kuš!, loosely based on the theme “Modern Heroes.” Violent Delights was the result, in which I stepped away from the digital feel of my previous contributions to kuš!’s anthology š! (š! '22 ‘Fashion’ and š! 25 ‘Gaijin Magaka’) and embraced the traditional medium of drawing on paper. A kind of Hetamoé manifesto, this comic book brings together and confronts various cultural, temporal and aesthetic scales—the languages of the avant-garde or literary critique and of "low" pop culture (e.g. anime, emoticons), words from the past and words from the present/future, big data and tiny things, science and art, among others—to weave an immersive reflection on a classic but urgent dilemma: Eros and Thanatos, ecstasy and violence (inflicted by humans against each other and by humans against the planet) as the keys to understanding the tragedy of our contemporary condition. When things fall apart, creativity and art face a test of their historical role and redeeming grace.
This is the comic’s synopsis: “Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet prompts this exploration of the intimate as the Other. Pictures draw us to behold and snuggle into them, only to wield their subsemiotic powers counter to interpretation. Performing this extimité in the art realm can help us grasp the many cultural-ecological disasters of our time.”