Comics Time: The Witness

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The Witness

Hob, writer/artist

self-published, 2008

24 pages

$3

Buy it from Hob

Buy it from Global Hobo

Comics about death, even good comics about death, are a dime a dozen.. Comics about death where the character that dies is biologically incapable of understanding what has happened to it? And in which the entire world dies, completely and irrevocably, taking all hope of future life with it? Rarer, and thank goodness, because I don’t know how many comics like this one I could take without cracking. This is not to say that the artist otherwise known as Eli Bishop’s “ghost story” about a dinosaur whose spirit lingers on Earth, occasionally interacting with its inhabitants (both alive and dead) until the solar system’s destruction billions of years from now by the expanding sun, is morbid or grim beyond the needs of the subject. Something about his airy, elegant line–able to convey the weightlessness of the dino-ghost and to accrue background detail without bogging the image down–prevents The Witness from ever feeling dreary or didactic. But that’s just it: This casual acceptance of the death of all things, a post-life eternity that just spirals on and on and on and on and on and on without ending, ended up being much more chilling to me than most stories about shuffling off this mortal coil. I’ve thought about my eventual expiration enough that doing so is like meeting a familiar friend. But death without the possibility of thought, by you, by anyone or anything else? That’s a stranger at the door and I’m afraid to let him in.

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