Taking a job as a live-in photographer and nanny, Cecilia finds herself in a sprawling home working for a couple who seem obsessed on capturing their children’s exploits for posterity. As she settles into her strange new life she begins to question some of the odder quirks of the family’s customs and history. What is the reason for the eerie shrine she stumbles upon? What is the origin of the phantom presence that appears in the photos she processes? And what are the secrets at the heart of this fractured family unit?
Seekan Hui’s work featured recently at BF when I looked at her minicomic Fish Flake (originally published via Shortbox) here. A Projection continues that same somewhat off-centre narrative style but with a greater confidence in her art and a noticeable willingness to let her slightly disorienting visual stream-of-consciousness storytelling sweep the reader along in its flow.
There’s a compelling energy here to pages that bustle with almost overlapping vignettes as images nearly crash into each other in Hui’s informally structured layouts. “Panels” feel more juxtaposed than placed and pages often seem more like landscapes or environments that the characters are traversing through than traditional sequential art. Hui’s use of colour also stands out, managing to be both consecutively subtle and striking in its mood-building utilisation.
The gothic overtones are obvious and somehow all the more sinister for their embodiment in the cuter stylings of Hui’s visual characterisation. Cecilia’s story, her interactions with this strange family, and gradual journey of discovery is Gormenghast by way of the Cartoon Network, Henry James as re-imagined by Oliver Postgate, with the supernatural idiosyncrasies and physical weirdnesses of the cast presented as an almost casual aside. At its heart there are familiar themes and explorations of memory, loss and family permeating the pages of A Projection but, ultimately, it’s the eccentricities of Hui’s visual storytelling that will grab the audience’s imaginations through her distinctive and ever inventive approach to the page.
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A Projection launches at Gosh! Comics on Saturday July 7th at 7pm as part of the Small Press Day celebrations.