Photographed and Painted by Kevin Storm
Written by Robert Randle
Printed by Markosia
This is the thing I like about Markosia, they are willing to take some serious risks when putting together a comic book, and I tend to generally really like their stuff. I have been reading them for a very long time, but this time Markosia has really pushed the envelope in terms of what kinds of stories they do. This is a pretty standard mixed media presentation much like comic books that have come before. The art though is gritty and rough and believable with the overtones and painting that goes along with the manipulation of the photographs to put a real dark mood on this one that is beyond what I have seen with other photographic comic books.
Markosia also decided to just call it, and push it out as a graphic novel, and if you want you can purchase the four serials that make up the whole story, or just go buy the whole story right off the bat. This change has been happening a lot in the graphic novel industry, the patience for serials is over with, and people just want to see the whole story. Markosia seems to be playing this one right in terms of delivery.
Honestly this is hard gritty comic book that is hard to define into any typical genre, which makes it a nice cross over here, there is something for everyone. Serial Artist is a cold story of a fine arts gallery painter who has declared to the world that the subjects of his paintings are his murder victims and that all the clues necessary to solve his crimes are hidden in his works of art. And that is what works across the whole process of Horror and Mystery. There are sections of this that would do a good B Horror movie proud; there are some interesting puzzles with the paintings and how the book has been put together. From the press release:
It’s one part fast-paced murder mystery, one part mind-bending meditation on the decay of Western Civilization, and one part tour through the roiling psychosis of a disturbed young painter. Mix in the guiding hand of the I Ching, render the illustrations using Adobe Photoshop, and you get Serial Artist, a four-part, underground graphic novel that strikes uncomfortably close to home.
And that home is America: a capitalistic, parasitic, self-indulgent totem of rampant materialism, whose once-world renowned value system has spun off its axis and now breeds a race of slouching, mindless dependents. Here in the long shadow of the leviathan, the basest impulses govern existence, and the wanton pursuit of excess has sown the seeds for the empire’s own eventual reckoning. From the churning bile of this mire emerges a once-in-a-generation figure, a firebrand visionary whose métier is the deification of murder and whose rabid fan base brings new meaning to the term “cult following.”
From here things get weirder, and in all honestly this one has us going back and re-reading pages to make sure we got it. I’m actually going to rate this one five of five stars because there is so much happening in here. The story line is dense, the art work is pretty decent, and surprisingly this is one tough comic book to push out, and get it right, but Markosia did it. Always fun, this one is worth getting just for the art work.