Keith Jones, writer/artist
Drawn & Quarterly, 2005
Mostly a small art book (part of D&Q’s series of such, called Pétits Livres) than a comic, Bacter-Area spotlights Keith Jones’s brightly colored, perspectivally flattened, manically busy drawings and sculpture. Spiritually it’s akin to things you’ve seen from Elvis Studio and Marc Bell–little Where’s Waldo-style depictions of town squares filled with non-sequitur billboards and weird looking monster-people and lots and lots of lines, a satire on the riot of visual information inherent in the modern urban landscape, that kinda thing. Jones’s personal spin involves lots of tubular birdies, people shooting solid beams out of their eyes at other people, the occasional Guernica allusion, rubbery macaroni-like arms, and sometimes bands of shrouded faceless Brinkman-esque figures. With the possible exception of one imposing, almost Pentacostal portrait of a group of that last element, it doesn’t hold together or add up to anything for me. The strung-together over-formal corporate nonsense he uses for dialogue is meaningless without being particularly meaningful about it, the color choice is bold but not particularly pleasant or powerful (a lot of Lee Loughridge-y greens), the character designs seem undercooked, and the big riot-of-detail vistas don’t really have any “ins” for the eye. Ah well, I suppose at some point it was inevitable that even someone with my limited exposure to this sort of work would come across some that was less than impressive to me.