Comics Time: Mould Map #1

Mould Map #1
Jason Traeger, Daniel Brereton, Aidan Koch, Massimiliano Bomba, Stéphane Prigent, Kitty Clark, Matthew Lock, Lando, CF, Jonathan Chandler, Matthew Thurber, Brenna Murphy, Drew Beckmeyer, Colin Henderson, Leon Salder, writers/artists
Hugh Frost, Leon Sadler, editors
Landfill Editions, December 2010
16 large pages
Buy it from Landfill
Buy it from PictureBox
Learn more at

Ingenious idea, meet ingenious execution. In this gorgeously printed, oversized anthology, a posse of prominent and obscure artcomickers create evocative one-page science-fiction strips/images/whatever — not so much to tell a complete story as to convey a mood, an environment, a series of story possibilities that emerge into the past and future of the events depicted on the page. Aidan Koch’s bold all-caps lettering meshes perfectly with her story of a nude, distraught wanderer of the highways who knows that something terrible is growing inside of him. Lando’s similarly perambulatory protagonist is confronted in the final panel by a reptilian counterpart, the ominous of the sudden meeting conveyed by superimposing a massive image of the creature’s head over the panel itself. CF’s contribution features a warrior in freefall and ends with the phrase “ENTERING ENEMY AIRSPACE” — it stops where the story starts, basically. Jonathan Chandler’s soldiers marvel after one of their fellows — “He really did it. He went out alone after the lights.” — whose journey to a cryptic series of what look like cardboard cutouts of robots or aliens remains unexplained. Many more pages are simply wordless images or wordless series of images featuring vaguely science-fictional figures doing vaguely science-fictional things. The tight space constraints offer the participants a welcome opportunity to step away from the typical worldbuilding concerns of alt/artcomix-genre hybrids and instead focus on world-evoking, a sense of what it would be like to be there, even when you don’t know what or how or why “there” is. The comic is printed in a flourescent orange and blue palette, like Cold Heat‘s pink and blue gone radioactive — a post-apocalypse run by a New York Mets memorabilia cargo cult. It’s a fine package and a delightful combination of form and function.