Page 45 Review by Stephen
Prometheus and the eagle are playing a long game of chess.
But is it against each other, or another entity?
"History is full of repeating patterns."
"The world's chaos can look remarkably like pattern to even the most careful observer. It's one of the hazards of that mind our Acquaintance has given you. But even real pattern is often punctuated by surprise.... Ah... I can't believe you got me to take that knight. You are trying to distract me, aren't you?"
Is there a pattern to be found within the circle panels inset on that double-page spread of the eagle gazing down from the mosque's minaret, surveying the war-torn city below?
Also, was TONGUES #1 my favourite self-published comic of 2018? My memory's shot, I don't know.
Album-sized with French flaps, inserted extra geometrical work, crisp white matt stock under a silky card cover, it certainly had the most lavish production values and the colour reproduction was to die for!
This second instalment is every bit as beautiful, but with a radically different light-set and palette. It's going to grow dark, on every level. I have taken some photos, for sure.
From the creator of the mighty BIG QUESTIONS, POETRY IS USELESS DON'T GO WHERE I CAN'T FOLLOW, THE END and indeed DOGS & WATER which was surprising reprised in the first issue. That's the answer to a cryptic clue I gave you last time.
This is but a brief reminder which will make little sense without first referring to my review of TONGUES #1 which ran to a full dozen paragraphs. There's really no point in repeating myself, is there?
Still resting on green moss and lichen, mountain-bound prisoner Prometheus and his appointed eagle remain on most excellent terms (daily liver extraction, aside). Indeed, their conversation may take a more conspiratorial turn here, however reluctantly on the eagle's part. It's possible that their Acquaintance's power is waning, and a note of hope is sounded. Hope is a wonderful thing, but it can also prove terrible if clutched at then dashed.
I love that they won't use their Acquaintance's real name for fear that he'll hear and take action.
Elsewhere, in the city, there will be strange transformations as a fountain takes on sinister new forms and a young girl is assessed as to her identity, her potential:
"Are you my sister, little mouse? Are you a diamond or just one more shard of broken glass? When the lion swallows you, will you take hold of his tongue and choke him on your way down?"
The girl remains silent. Very wise.
But most impressive for me is Nilsen's ability to worry, to chill, within the camp of the renegade soldiers we met last issue. He's created one motherfucker of a militia man in their self-assured, ostensive leader who loves the sound of his own manipulative voice. But it's the resolutely silent Niko who you really need to watch out for. Upping the ante - that's craft.