Henrik Rehr, writer/artist
Fahrenheit, June 2009
48 pages, hardcover
I got it for the low low price of $5 at MoCCA
FOOM! FWOOOSH! KRAKKA-DOOM! Abstract Comics contributor Henrik Rehr’s Fahrenheit is like the purely visual equivalent of a sound effect. Utilizing chops earned through years of more traditional cartooning, Rehr seizes the canvas of abstract comics with a vengeance, crafting a dynamic and frequently stunning–dare I say it?–page-turner, with nary a narrative element to be found.
Rehr is working in pure black and white, reproduced on a slick page stock that gives its expansive visuals a deep and expensive look. His “story” is structured primarily from spread to spread, and in each, one can detect a particular visual inspiration: the whorls of a fingerprint, the activity of unicellular organisms, waves, fire, smoke, a jungle, and in the book’s most memorable moment, a shattered pane of glass. There’s even one spread that looked like ghosts to me, though in that case and all the others, nothing is recognizable as such–Rehr deploys just enough visual cues to get the idea across before riffing off into the stratosphere with them. The emphasis throughout is on motion, with the eye pushed, pulled, and even thrown from one end of the spread to the next by wafting forms, exploding panels, or great ribbonlike curves. At times it looks like nothing so much as the stormy sky of a Dore print blown up to unrecognizable size. The context is gone, but the dynamism removes. This book really puts the “action” back in “abstraction,” and at five bucks–less than most minicomics!–it was an absolute steal. Snag it if you see it at a show.
See a preview below: