Friday, October 7, 2011

Pure Pajamas, by Marc Bell

Picked this one up, a Drawn n' Quarterly hard cover compilation released in 2011 by Marc Bell.  I have to say I really enjoyed it.  It's one of those light hearted explorations of the subconscious, while marginally censored, that I enjoy.  Often comics are rampant with brutality and sex because of the male-centric demographic of repressed, wimpy readers.  Be it Iron Man or the wild eyed glam psychos of Suehiro Maruo, or R. Crumb's fidgeting libidinous penmanship of thick Jewish ham-hocks.

Speaking of which, Marc is clearly influenced by R. Crumb.  The bluesy ragtime era dialogues that harken back to the days of Krazy Kat and Bugs Bunny set the tone for his work, and the numerous little characters and bizarre landscapes lend themselves to LSD inspired dreamscapes.  But in Marc Bell's world some one has picked up all the garbage and policed the area for sleaze.  It seems a bit more like the inside of the S.F. Moma rather than 60's era Haight Street.

Perhaps this distance from the hustle and bustle of R. Crumb's world, the trashy streets of the hippie infested 60's era San Francisco and dirty, industrial Philadelphia contrast greatly to Marc Bell's hometown and place of art education in London, Ontario.

The best analogy for his work is smoking weed in a museum.  The modernized version of R. Crumb explores pastel color schemes, abstract forms and ideas that resemble Japanese videogames and toys, puppets, and futuristic cities where everything works like a sterilized, female-friendly clockwork.

Did I also mention, having this book on your shelf when a girl comes over is a good idea.

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