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Gloriana h/c

Gloriana h/c back

Kevin Huizenga


Page 45 Review by Mark

First it was a self-published zine, then OR ELSE #2. From the creator of GANGES, THE WILD KINGDOM etc., now it's reproduced as a neat little 6 x 8 h/c, including its original gatefold whose outer flaps themselves form a double-page spread in their own right! It is a stunning piece of design worthy of Ware. Ask in the shop and we'll show you! Also included: the original fold-out to SUPERMONSTER #14, its back cover, OR ELSE #2's back cover and a note on how to pronounce his name: "HIGH zing gah".

Mark's review from 2005:

One of the problems facing comic artists is what should be left in and what should be left out. Jeffrey Brown, in AEIOU, shows us a relationship but leaves out important facts in the same way that his character was not told the whole story. There's a track by Love where words are left off the end of lines but it's obvious from the rhyming pattern as to what's left out and it brings more attention to them. In Kill Bill, the main character's name is bleeped out, again forcing our attention to what's missing. Some comics give you a single page and you'd swear that you'd read ten. The opposite side of this is that we're never given the whole truth of a moment. If you want to truly understand any moment in time you'd have to have all the facts presented to you.

The central story of this issue ("The Sunset") gives 20 pages over to a split second of Glenn Ganges looking out of a library window, seeing a feather fall and catching the full blast of the rays of the setting sun. One line, "Earlier I was at the library and the sun was setting...", is chopped up and repeated throughout, pulling us back and forth throughout the moment. We see different views, people in the library, birds outside and the images left on his optic nerve as the light pours in. It's a dizzying experience and quite a trick to pull off. If that was the only section of the book it would have still made my 'best of 2002' list when it originally came out. Even the way he segues into the final chapter's calm after the storm is wonderful ("The Moon Rose").

The first part has Glenn & Wendy unpacking the groceries. Wendy is pregnant and their minds drift to the future, when the baby is a year or so old. Both end up worrying that something bad will happen but realise that there's a way out of it.

"Come here. She's kicking. There. Did you feel it?"
"... Then?"
"You don't feel that?"
"Uhh... Nope"
"Here... wait a second."

Then we cut away and then back to find that it's Glenn carrying the baby before we're onto the next panel where they're both sitting down at the dinner table, talking about relations. Then the phone rings and it's just Glenn unpacking the groceries & he's been daydreaming about him and his wife daydreaming about the baby. By now we're all disorientated and possibly in the right frame of mind for "The Sunset". Viewing this book in isolation we're not sure if Wendy is pregnant or if Glenn is actually married. It's Wendy that's phoned him, so she's real enough. Outside of this book, in "28th Street" (from DRAWN & QUARTERLY SHOWCASE VOL 2) they're still trying to conceive and in OR ELSE #1 they appear to have had a miscarriage or lost the child in infancy.

This is a grand book and I'm glad that it's been reprinted. Huizenga is definitely one to watch.

"Huizenga is definitely one to watch." Funny. That's why we never doubted Mark!
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