In 2006, I presented my first academic paper at San Diego Comic Con. Also on the panel were Neil Cohn, who I had met at a previous event, and Durwin Talon, then an adjunct at Savannah College of Art & Design, who gave a fascinating presentation on the psychological uses of color in comics.
|page from BONDS|
The series dealt with the intersection of creativity and magic as a legacy, with music, and with father/daughter issues.
Much of Talon's art for this book was included in that year's Society of Illustrators Annual. Is Talon a comic artist who does commercial illustration, or the inverse? Does it matter? He's good. He's also done some coloring and covers for the majors.
In Bonds, Talon deals with magic largely as a threat- untapped, uncontrolled, unrecognized power and its implicit dangers. These themes repeat in his newest work, Beautiful Scars, written by his partner Guin Thompson. Not to detract from Talon's earlier work, but I suspect Thompson may have had some voice in shaping Bonds as well, at least on a spiritual level. The themes are not 100% parallel, but there are too many similarities to dismiss the welcome possibility.
|Maddie's fairy tales|
As the stories run parallel, Maddie develops a larger awareness of heritage and of the world and her place in it. She also begins to understand the value of the real world, while not abandoning her rich imagination.
She completes a more sophisticated version of her childhood tale and gets it published for her grandfather.
One of the things that Maddie learns about her grandfather is his history in WWI. That this quiet, gentle man could be involved in such matters is a great shock to her, and she begins to understand people a bit better.
|The World War I cover done as a commemorative piece, in honor of the war's Centennial,|
for the SDCC edition of Beautiful Scars
Perhaps there's a story in that idea as well. Hm.
But that's the worst thing I can say about this book, and I feel a bit bad saying that. This book shines, and deserves much more attention than it's recieved. Beautiful Scars is a quiet masterpiece. I read it through the Public Library, but am adding it to my own library directly. It will stand the test of time, and will only improve with repeated readings.
Next: Best of 2014, No. 8: Harlan Ellison strikes again!