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

Cover of Arachnodactyly Creator(s): Gregory MacKay
Publishers: Self Published
From: Australia
Price: $5 (Aus)

The comic arrived in the mail and sat in the SBC office for a few days. It was raining. Three stories and a collection of sketches. Observations and reflections. A leaning towards a poetic approach to narrative. Pretty blue and red cover with a hole in it.

The first story in this collection mingles observations, seemingly random phrases and memories with simple illustrations of architectural features, mechanical equipment, machinery and highway underpasses. It's a piece of concrete poetry with a slideshow, harrowing in its sense of personal isolation.

Passerby in which a chap finds himself being called upon to help strangers out with practical problems they face but he never seems to interact with them on a personal level - another isolated person.

Francis Bear a toy bear in the desert seems to talk the comic into existence as she comes to terms with being alone in the desert, looking at a shower that might or might not be real. Soon the hallucinations become more dramatic with hundreds of other bears crowding the panels - this one is about isolation as well.

The sketch book has a range of illustrations of people and everyday objects in close-ups. The artwork here, as with the rest of the book, is done with thick ink work where each line has equal weight on the page. It reminds me of graphic design look of airline emergency instruction sheets - clean and almost photorealistic but in a very spare style. It's all very attractive in its clarity of form.

In a Word: Crisp.

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