Time again this week to resume our spotlight on the latest batch of mini kuš! short comics from Latvian publisher kuš! with a focus on issue #117’s ‘Grapefruit’ by Portugal-based creator Ana Margarida Matos. ‘Grapefruit’ is described in the simple following terms: “A reality you experience alone may be a dream, but a dream 1000 people experience together is a reality.” An enticing opening statement for a truly meta comics reading experience.
Indeed, ‘Grapefruit’ is arguably the ultimate in metatextual exploration of the form. With its pencil icon acting as avatar and guide, Matos uses the mini kuš! platform as a space to not simply deconstruct the dynamics and mechanisms of the comics page but to dissect and provide commentary on them as well.
Here we have a meditation on how we find meaning in the page; of characters and voices both being and not being, as Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum” is rent asunder in meta reflection. A study and philosophical visual essay on the the relationship between page, experience and reader, between individual and wider audience, and between voice and format.
‘Grapefruit’ is one of the finest examples of narrative experimentation I have experienced from the kuš! line to date. If you enjoy alt comics, abstract comics, or work that allows us to reconsider what comics are and can be then ‘Grapefruit’ underlines just how special the mini kuš! line is in promoting some of the more esoteric and intelligent uses of the form around.
Ana Margarida Matos (W/A) • kuš! comics, $7.95
Review by Andy Oliver