Monday, June 09, 2003

one! hundred! demons!

I first caught a glimpse of a few panels of Lynda Barry's "autobifictionalography" in the Comics Journal. Bumping into Ruey before one of his trips abroad, I told him to keep an eye out for the book. Well, thank god he did. Thanks to him, I finally got to read it.

After seeing a 16th century painting of a hundred demons chasing each other, Barry decided to confront her own demons in a series of stories that blend fiction and autobiography into one, using ink and paper and a riot of color. The resulting 17 short tales are excellent material, very readable and easily among the best "comics" I've seen this year.

The fact that Barry is part-Filipino is gravy for me (thought I confess it was like being kicked it the gut when words like "puet" and "aswang" came up - plus the misspelled "aiie, n'ako!"). The stories themselves, with their captioned writing and pithy dialogue, along with the seemingly simple art (beautiful in its own way), worked wonders.

One of the vignettes talks about abused dogs and makes the connection with abused people.

Another wonders about how some childhood books can affect one so deeply, so sublimely.

Like this one.


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