I had the opportunity to flip my grease prints through Tom Gauld’s newest book “Moon Cop” on the weekend. It’s a nice meditation for the eyes and gives the ol funny bones a good shake. But it also shook up some memories of something I meant to post about a few year ago: ambient comics.
(from Moon Cop)
As my eyeballs rolled over the moon’s surface and across the pages, I was reminded of an idea I had a few years ago to make ambient comics. I can’t remember exactly what inspired the thought at the time (probably something to do with Norway’s Slow TV, Jim Bizzochi, a recent panic attack, and maybe the way Brian Eno’s ambient music is described in How Music Works), but I became fascinated with the concept of creating something that doesn’t demand attention. It felt counter-intuitive, humble, and in an odd way intriguing (similar to how I felt when a close friend told admitted they watched softcore porn without masterbating). I wondered about extending this concept across different mediums (not just porn), but particularly comics - through panels and pages, with no words or apparent narrative (besides the one created in your head). I was after something that was pleasant to look at, but passive; it would just let your mind wonder. But, like all ideas, I soon discovered that it already existed. Or at least in some kind of shape and form. And in the years since, I've seen these shapes and forms everywhere. I’m not sure how you categorize the work, but here's just a skim of the dream cream. I'll post more later, but for now enjoy this weekend spa retreat for your looking orbs.
[By the way, if you haven’t thumbed through Tom Gauld’s "Goliath", do yourself a favour and hear the story of David and Goliath from the other side.]