Sep 21, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 574: The Three Voices, 1994


Months and months ago I featured a Gustave Dore comic from Tome Press and talked about the place in indie publishing that Caliber occupied, and talked about the notion that a comic can be considered by virtue of the intent of its publishing or its audience, rather than just from the arrangement of words and pictures upon the pages. I delve back into this area with today's comic. While I found the editorial section a bit dodgy (blame it on the far-too-over-developed grammatical sense I carry with me now), the reprint of both the poems and the Frost illustrations is just wonderful. I've read "Jabberwocky" before, of course, but the other two poems, the titular one and "Size & Tears" were new to me. Carroll has a lovely sense of the ridiculous, and these poems foreground that. Not necessarily nonsense poems like "Jabberwocky" (though the woman in "The Three Voices" does seem somewhat nonsensical), these poems attack the idea of nonsense from more sensible directions. "Size & Tears" could even be considered a very early look at body shaming and the love of thinness.

There's no listing for this comic on the GCD, and I know they're pretty strict about the amount of actual comics that have to be in a publication in order for it to merit inclusion in the database. While I understand the need to limit, I think this is comics doing what it does very well, juxtaposing art and words, demonstrating a collaborative medium, and publishing to a mass market. Frost's illustrations do no simply depict what's happening in the poems, but offer interpretation of the characters, creatures, and action. One curious thing about this comic, and about the other two Carroll reprints I have from Tome Press, is that it claims on the cover to be number two of two, but I don't think any other issues were published. Which is great, actually, because I've spent the last number of years keeping my eyes open for the first issues, and now I can take them off the watch list!

More that's new and strange tomorrow! Onward.

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