I just posted my Graphic Novel Friday feature on Omnivoracious, about David B.’s Nocturnal Conspiracies. I was originally going to review this in tandem with Koren Shadmi’s In the Flesh, but someone told me a Boston publication had already done that. Anyway, in case I don’t get around to In the Flesh, I highly recommend its surreal/dream-like stories of romantic encounters gone strange.
For this type of art to work, it must be composed primarily of what I call “charged” images. On a basic level, an image in a book or a painting can either be inert or charged, with other descriptions of this latter state ranging from “luminous” to the banal and simplistic “symbolic” (because the term inevitably reduces image to one thing or another, and evokes the word “Freudian,” which imposes strict purpose on imagery in a way I find distasteful). An inert image is one that more or less is what it represents, without any further life inhabiting it. A charged image is also what it represents, but contains some other quality that animates it in the reader’s mind. It has a resonance that connects with something universal, or perhaps even something personal.