Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Rough House 3

Robert Boyd

In my ongoing effort to read all the books in my unread "pile" (more like "unread shelves"), I just read Rough House 3 which was published in 2015. I don't know how long I've had it--a good long while, I think. That said, they haven't published one since 2015 so now I'm all caught up.

The idea behind Rough House has been to be an Austin-based anthology, but by volume 3, contributors come from all over--Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Tel Aviv, Croatia, etc. And it's the best volume yet--the drawing is varied and wonderful. I love the drawing of Shawn Eisenach who contributed 4 mysterious silent one-page strips.

Shawn Eisenach

Another artist whose visual style I liked very much was Lea Heinrich. She had what I would call a very "Nobrow" style after the English publisher--a very designy illustrational style that seems extremely well-suited to the risograph. Her highly stylized drawing is layered with brushy blue tones. For her story "5 Finger Discount", she is adapting a poem by Lynn Gentry.

Lea Heinrich

Keren Katz's "The Man on Floor 319" is a little fable of the dangers of separating yourself from real life as well as the very real dangers of embracing life. It is drawn in black and white (not using the spot color capacities of the risograph printing) in a funny, clean cartoony style.

Keren Katz

Sarah Welch's untitled wordless story switches between a sleeping woman (drawn in blue and black) and a truck driving through what appears to be a dry, West Texas landscape, depicted in black and an intense shade of pink.  There's not really a story here--there's nothing obvious to connect the two parts, and nothing much happens. It's really just a sequence of evocative images forming the barest hint of a narrative.

Sarah Welch--for some reason, my scanner didn't scan the hot pink truck, so you'll just have to imagine them

The book is printed on a risograph (with various spot colors) and is really well designed. However, the table of contents just lists the names of the artists and it is slightly confusing to figure out who did what story. Page numbers would have helped!

No comments:

Post a Comment