A Western World

Koyama. May 2018. 152p. ISBN 9781927668481. pap. $22.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
OrangeReviewStarProlific cartoonist DeForge (Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero) returns with a new collection of short stories that highlight his distinct vision and voice as one of the silliest, most sentimental, and darkest creators working today. In "Mostly Saturn," the U.S. vice president learns that all deceased Americans are reincarnated on Saturn, before being faced with an impossible choice when Saturn launches an attack against Earth. "The Prime Minister of Canada" presents the bitingly funny inner monolog of the titular world leader as he goes about a typical day. "Margot Airplane" begins with a premise fit for a children's book—a girl transforms herself into an airplane—before suddenly segueing into a graphic sex scene and then back again. Several stories, such as "Talking Sweat" and "Quicksand," offer meditations on a subject that, thrillingly, leave all scientific fact and rational thought behind as DeForge explores spaces and streams of thought much more intriguing than verisimilitude might allow. DeForge's artwork is sometimes abstract, sometimes beautifully rendered, and always brilliantly designed, laid out, and colored.
VERDICT The 15 stories here present 15 new opportunities to commune with a truly inspired mind; not to be missed.
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