Blaise Larmee (Young Lions) (http://www.arthurmag.com/2010/02/13/exclusive-preview-of-blaise-larmees-young-lions/) has started his own publishing imprint, Gaze Books (http://www.gazebooks.com/index.html). Their first book is Aidan Koch’s debut graphic novel, THE WHALE.
The 64 page book is a gorgeous showcase of Aidan’s ethereal pencil illustrations and poetic storytelling. The story follows a young woman who has just suffered the loss of a loved one. There is no backstory or explanation. Instead we simply follow the protagonist for a day as she walks her dog on the beach, makes tea at home, is surprised that all of her loved one’s belongings fit in a couple cardboard boxes. The text is minimal, just her internal dialogue, but very resonant.
Most of the time we keep death at bay as an abstract mystery. Butwhen death cannot be avoided it pierces each moment like a needle.Those painful hours become linked with normally small and mundane details, almost absurd, always irreversible. I think the book is trying to capture this melancholy paradox; the complex idea that we live in a world of objects, sweaters and seashells, while simultaneously existing in the overwhelming emotional world of our memories. In our hearts we identify with the grandeur of existence, and in our minds we know there is nothing.
Special thanks to Blaise and Aidan for sharing this 12 page preview. Preorders are available on Gaze Books’ website (http://www.gazebooks.com/store.html) and Blaise has announced a release party in October, at his apartment.