Sticky Monsters by John Kenn Mortensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
John Kenn Mortensen's first collection of his macabre drawings, all done on post-it-notes, will hold a place of prominence on my artbook/graphic novel shelf. It's not a graphic novel, per se, but Mortensen's visual vignettes each tell a story, usually by presenting a knife's-edge moment of suspense, leaving the viewer wondering what has just happened, and what is about to happen, between his cast of monsters (from the ectoplasmic to the cthulhoid to the ghoulish) and their foils (usually children). The washed out yellow of each page, combined with the artist's fine linework, gives each piece a pseudo-sepia-tone that is perfect for the archaic dress and minimalist, yet prosaic, settings of each of these drawings. If you're an Edward Gorey fan who wants a little more "bite," then this is the perfect book for you. And while Mortensen's pieces do point back to a simpler age (e.g., Klimt's "Tree of Life" is evoked throughout), the subtle emotional complexity of these artworks points to something altogether new. Much of Mortensen's work is available online, however, one must see these drawings in this book in order to appreciate what a fine artifact the book itself is.
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