If you’ve been following this week’s coverage of some of Latvian publisher kuš! comics’ mini kuš! series then you’ll be aware already of how eclectic a range it is. While the first two comics I reviewed this week were arguably more traditional in narrative approach, today’s offering from Peruvian artist Martín López Lam has a notably unconventional structure. ‘BLINK’, mini kuš! #97, is certainly sequential art – wonderfully, cyclically so – but it’s also a comics short that asks the reader to project their own story onto the chaotic events that unfold in its pages.
‘BLINK’ introduces us to a world full of “lazy and libertine monsters”. Our protagonist-of-sorts (given that they are swept along by events rather than influencing them) is one of many weird creatures we will meet along the way. They pop up from under ground on the first page with every double-page spread thereafter being a single, frenetic image of their travels through this bizarre fantasy realm. One that bustles with gloriously nonsensical beings and impossible creations.
The fun of ‘BLINK’ is that such is the distinctive nature of the audience’s interaction with the page that each crammed tableau is full of half-realised stories to ponder on. Background (and foreground!) characters go about their strange daily routines whether that be in incongruously-shaped awkward vehicles, partying around decaying ancient monuments, or being propelled from giant cannons. Our imaginations don’t simply fill in the blanks here. They create whole scenarios based on these snippets of information about this eccentric world and its denizens. At one point the view also opens up to allow us to also see another subterranean world below the one we are observing giving us a parallel sequence to interpret and absorb.
There’s something approaching a Where’s Wally/Waldo? vibe to ‘BLINK’, albeit with a twist of rich surrealism, as we look through each panorama to discover the whereabouts of our lead character. Bursting with ideas and visual invention ‘BLINK’ will make you eager to experience more of Martín López Lam’s idiosyncratic sequential art.
Martín López Lam (W/A) • kuš! comics, $7.00
Review by Andy Oliver