Comics Time: Core of Caligula

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Core of Caligula

C.F., writer/artist

PictureBox Inc., June 2008

8 pages

$2

Buy it from PictureBox

I gather this short but effective minicomic is compiled from even shorter minis, each of which contained one two-page chapter. Removed from their usual overt sci-fi/fantasy setting, C.F.’s slight line and dreamlike narrative can here be seen as either a straightforward story of a man adrift amid forces that seek to monitor, control, and disorient him, or the delusions of a mentally ill man who believes this to be true. It’s funny how simply removing the fancy costumes and creatures from a C.F. comic yields this subtle and troubling a (potential) depiction of schizophrenia, yet there you have it. The protagonist’s zoned-out facial expression, the graphic nudity, the temporal lacunae all yield the sense that there’s something a little terrible about what’s going on even though there’s nothing overtly so. I may like this better than Powr Mastrs, though it’s easy to see why even if blown up into that project’s size and scope it might not garner the same level of attention and acclaim.

Postscript: I’m going to choose to believe that the main character getting thrown from a helicopter naked and surviving is an Ultimates homage.

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