Two full color works, the novella length, "The Leaking Cello Case," and the novel length, "John Wesley Harding," make this hardcover volume a welcome arrival for all long suffering fans of South Africa's reigning comics hepster, Joe Daly. Here is work that really is like no other, a truly diverse amalgamation that brings to mind comics from Hergé to Clowes to Pete Sickman-Garner, but remains utterly unique and distinctly South African. Not enough people are hep to this guy, so we say, "Check this one out!" We're making it easy for you, with this 10-page PDF preview and a SUPER SPECIAL SALE PRICE!
Joe Daly is clearly on a roll here. This volume is twice the length of the the first two in the series, and he is really stepping up his art game. Daly is now, for all intents and purposes, the face of South African comics to American readers of independent, creator-owned comics, and he is really blazing a trail here that we hope others from his homeland will follow to our shores. Anyone who has been reading C.F.'s Powr Mastrs, Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit, and/or Charles Burns's new series that began with X'ed Out would do well to take a look at Dungeon Quest, as it shares aspects with each of these and, while representing somewhat of a synthesis, can stand quite comfortably on its own in this company as a work of art and story, in terms of both quality and accomplishment. And, while drug use had been more or less implicit in the narratives of the aforementioned American series, Dungeon Quest explicitly connects its own quest driven narratives to getting high in an instructive manner. It is also more explicit – after the manner in which being stoned can enhance bodily and sensual awareness – in its depiction of (primarily, but not soley, male) sexuality and how, when it is channeled into a questing orientation, it tends toward violent resolutions, and so engages readers in a process of deconstructing this long standing driver of the vast majority of heroic fantasy narratives. Knowing that some of you will need more convincing, Fantagraphics has provided this generous 22-page PDF preview. Check it out.
An epic, hallucinatory journey that while physically set in South Africa, embarks from a place of alienation and detachment and travels through dark and confusing psychological spaces – often via the use of various psychoactive drugs – to arrive at an unexpected series of destinations, Highbone Theater provides a comics trip like no other to any reader adventurous enough to climb aboard. Imagine, if you will, a very Charles Burnsian narrative in which dream and reality, imagination and perception, delusion and conception, fiction, fantasy and rumination are all inextricably bound together into an irreducible mass. Then imagine it featuring a cast made up of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers reimagined as meathead bodybuilders all rendered in the manner of Burns imitating Fletcher Hanks, with the setting -- landscapes and dreamscapes -- courtesy of Jim Woodring. Then imagine that the protagonist works with Reid Fleming – who has, apparently, been experimenting with hallucinogens since we last saw him, and who has transferred his skill set to work at a paper factory instead of an industrial dairy, and is now, in addition to being an over-the-top renegade, an off-the-rails paranoid delusional conspiracy theorist. All the while keeping in mind the entire time that this story is set -- at least those parts that can be construed to take place within the physical realm -- in South Africa, yet is somehow related to the events of 9/11, and that the artwork switches back and forth between black and white and full color, as called for by the narrative. Now you have some idea what to expect in the 570 pages of Highbone Theater, the latest and greatest work by Joe Daly, the creator of Dungeon Quest and The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book, and more.
Here's a work crazy enough for the times we now find ourselves in – and, now, thanks to a special purchase, priced low enough for those operating on reduced incomes and/or squeezed budgets.
SUPER SALE PRICE!