Sunday, December 19, 2010
Misinterpreted Complications Book Five
By Nick Souček
Parts of Misinterpreted Complications can really be seen more as illustrated philosophic musings than a comic. At first I kind of thought that multiple pages of a character sitting by themselves under a tree drinking wine and thinking about thinking, “the aesthetic of the tortured artist”, and the idea of being alone was wasting space and not using the idea of comics to their full. But then I realized that by having large, mostly empty panels Souček is helping to create the idea of loneliness that his stand-in is discussing. Oh comics! Once more you prove your superiority over prose!
The comic is split about equally between semi-autobiographical anecdotes, and the philosophical musings. The philosophic ones deal with anxiety, self doubt, and wondering about accuracy of the memories you have of your life. How accurate are they? If you have nobody else around to confirm them can you ever be really sure that they happened in the way that you think they did?
The more I think about this (the idea of philosophy comics, not the actual philosophy, as that would drive me insane), the more I think I’d like to see Souček make a comic that was just a philosophy essay. Something sort of similar to Alan Moore’s comics on magic, but dealing with a certain philosophical idea; giving an explanation and examples, testing hypothesis, and creating a conclusion, instead of just brief thoughts about them.
On the anecdote side of things, I quite liked the comic about Sim City and how it’s based around the false economic idea of “infinite growth”. I wish Souček had gone a bit more into this and discussed how constant growth isn’t in any way sustainable, and how our current economic system does not work. Dang, this comic (and I guess my blog) talks about some big ideas doesn’t it?
Souček's people aren’t the most emotive I’ve ever seen, but somehow it seems to work fairly well for a comic where people constantly seem to thank and care more about what’s going on in their heads then what they see in real life. The blank faces reflect the existential doubt the characters are feeling, and I can relate to that.
Souček also has some comics in the really rad ad-free bicycle magazine Boneshaker. Check it out!