"The Whale" by Aidan Koch

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.

Categories: COMICS | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

2 thoughts on “"The Whale" by Aidan Koch

  1. Pingback: Encyclopedia Czapiewski » Blog Archive » The Whale

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