Attempted Not Known #8

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Attempted Not Known #8 Creator(s): Peter Conrad
Publishers: Self Published
From: USA
Price: $2(US)

If we were to take this book an an accurate reflection of modern times, then life would be full of awkward moments that makes one squirm in your chair while trying to avoid eye contact. Peter appears to enjoy experimenting with layout and image sequences in order to see what sort of effect they can have on the reader.

The first story No Love Lost uses repetition to build up a sense of unease. The main character listens over and over to the message his ex-girlfriend left on the answer machine as part of a daily routine. Soon he is stalking the poor woman. The use of a 4 by 6 grid of squares adds to the repetitive nature of his activities, a theme which is mirrored in the characters job as help in a copy centre. Once sad and creepy story.

Circtulation recounts a work-place friendship that developed over the coffee machine. When one of the friends is laid off they loose touch. The story takes a sad turn as we learn what became of the person who left, and how that can only reconnect thought the books he left behind.

Peter's artwork makes use some stylised character designs in a couple of stories, though aims for realism in the surroundings. This strengthens the autobiographical tone of the stories, as does the use of the same character as narrator for most of the book - I assume it is supposed to be Peter.

The book has a mature feel to it. That doesn't mean rude or violent, instead it translates into thoughtful observations on things a grown up has to deal with - home renovations, death, childhood memories. It's funny, sad and well constructed.

In a Word: Sophisticated.

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