Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Gurlimann's Bizarre Bazaar

Starring Evelyn Gurlimann, this comic—a blend of horror, farce, fairytale and superheroism—is divided into six short, loosely connected episodes, each one darkly mind-bending. The hero/ine, a wo/man of shifting and/or undefined gender/sexuality, more often than not resembles Charlie Chaplin with a thin pencil moustache and a wild ‘W’ of hair in place of a bowler hat. “His very presence heralds imminent disaster!” the opening page warns. Sure enough, in subsequent pages Gurlimann (accidently?) induces one man’s head to explode, another’s chin to sprout a pair of violently-kicking baby legs, etc. It’s horrifically absurd, absurdly horrific. And it’s thought-provoking stuff. “Making No Magnifisense” asks what happens when archetypal masculine heroism, in the form of meteor-shattering Magnificent Man, is confronted with the enigma of Gurlimann. “Oh, Emgee,” is a two-line dialogue about the (non)existence of God. As the episode titles suggest, Dimes loves to play with words, and the text is just as precise as the illustrations. “Something Peculiar,” a rhyming verse about Gurlimann’s stroll through Rottingwood Roads, a place littered with stiffened squirrel corpses, reminded me of Edward Gorey. Often, the lifespan of comics is short: read once, recycle. But after reading this, I flipped right back to the beginning and started again…

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