Monday, December 4, 2017


Monoglots, rejoice! You don't have to be able to read Spanish to enjoy Joan Cornella's beautifully painted, multi-panel, single page comic strips. That's because this Spanish artist has chosen to leave her work wordless, a decision that ends up making just as much artistic sense as it does from a marketing standpoint. 

Mute as they are, Cornella's little stories practically scream for attention. Paradoxical in every conceivable way, these delicately savage non-allegories often achieve a near transcendent level of surrealism, displaying a paradoxically violent beauty via Cornella's delicately simple representation.

The gags don't always land, but they certainly do often enough to warrant giving each and every one of them the benefit of the doubt. And even the pages that fall flat often still contain something that makes them worthwhile... a strikingly beautiful design element, for instance, or a never-before-seen juxtaposition that stays with you, like an odd passing glance from a stranger on the street.

The book itself is also a thing of beauty. Bibliophiles will marvel at the design work that Cornella's North American publishers, Fantagraphics, have put into this product. Producing adult-oriented content with the colorful sturdiness and rugged durability of the best in children's publishing is a brilliant idea, and it's one that I hope more publishers will consider copying.

Ultimately, what we have here is a traditional European style "funny book" that can also easily be considered a collection of postmodernist sequential paintings that builds on the surrealist traditions of Dali and Bunuel. Fantagraphics is to be commended for helping to spread this artist's work beyond her home continent of Europe, and for making MOX NOX such a ridiculously low-priced bargain.
If you're thinking about purchasing MOX NOX via, please consider doing so through the links provided here. Much obliged!

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