venerdì 8 febbraio 2013

Beta Testing the Apocalypse [a short review]

© Tom Kaczynski
The peculiarity of Tom Kaczynski's comics collection Beta Testing the Apocalypse is mirrored in the peculiar editing of the book itself. The opening graphic summary traces the spatial and temporal coordinates of each story, disclosing/revealing surprising narrative constellations whereas the unusual closing index highlights directly the author's cultural references hinted at in the book. The brightly coloured flexicover shows a miniature cityscape generated by a globalized architectural imagination and aptly summarize the content of the narrative. Time, space, statistics, data flows are the core elements of these explicitly ballardian science fiction stories which depict the bewilderment of the Western man, deprived of senses and feelings, alone and adrift in the intact ruins of an immanent future. Kaczynski's algid style, his thin line which can efficaciously densify, depicts an already present and continuously renovating Apocalypse. The result is a book with an elegant format, an immediate communicative power and an extraordinarily dense content.
An essential reading.

Tom Kaczynski, Beta Testing the Apocalypse, Fantagraphics, 2012

Useful links for a more in-depth analysis:
Book review by Sean Rogers (The Comics Journal)
Book review by Nick Hanover (Comics Bullettin)
Interview with Tom Kaczynki by Tim Hodler (The Comics Journal)
Interview with Tom Kaczynki by Nick Hanover (Comics Bullettin)
Interview with Tom Kaczynski by Bill Baker (The Morton Report)

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