Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Magic, Opiates...

Over the last year or so I've tried to describe CF's series POWR MASTRS to some number of people with only the tiniest bit of success at doing it the justice I feel it deserves. At best I cite some kind of example of what I can closest equate the title(s) to, usually something along the lines of Dune or The Lord of the Rings. These are inaccurate comparisons however. POWR MASTRS is an epic world all it's own, bearing only minuscule similarity to Herbert and Tolkien's classic epics (most likely coincidental, merely the mention of magic and opiates), and it was last night after reading the introduction to Ivan Brunetti's Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice that I realized I'd been going about my mode of recommendation somewhat a bit wrong.

In Brunetti's book (a syllabus and lesson plan) he stresses to his students "When form and content diverge, only a specter remains, and nothing solid can be built. It is like those ill-fated relationships where we convince ourselves that we are in love, when actually we are just consumed with lust, desperation, jealousy, and need. It is also the reason dictatorships and military occupations never last: anything that does not organically evolve from the needs of a society, but is instead imposed by an external force, eventually topples like the flimsy house of cards it essentially is."

Instead of likening CF's series to other titles simply because they are considered as visionary classics, that I believe POWR MASTRS is driven with a charge similar to that of a novelist who is attempting to build their own personal landscape, my pitch (reverie) should be concentrating on his seamless marriage of form and content. The illustrations meander from black and white to brilliantly colored, from absurdly intricate to a near lazy simplicity page to page. Paired with a haunting and heady writing style a reality that is entirely of its own is created.

Sadly this book is published by a small, artsy press and definitely not as widely distributed as I wish it could be, let alone believe it should be. I am doing my part to push it though. Please read POWR MASTRS. A quick skim of it can be misleading. It's not about wizards and elves or drugs or space stuff... although maybe it is too. Whatever. It is pretty much the best thing.

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