Comics Time: “2001″

“2001″
Blaise Larmee, writer/artist
self-published on the web, January 2011-
Read it at BlaiseLarmee.com

What a thrilling comic. It’s worth noting, I suppose, that the white-on-black presentation of Blaise Larmee’s gorgeous webcomic “2001″ largely removes Larmee’s work from the pencil-smudged, fragile-lines-on-white, Darger/CF context in which it’s previously been located. But far more interesting to me than how the comic operates versus Larmee’s other stuff is how it operates in and of itself. The vastness of the full-bleed images, the fact that they occupy the entire page, the way the starfield/snowfall background is a big black nothing that appears to isolate the characters in infinity, is immediately impactful, even awe-inspiring, maybe the most striking use of the webcomic medium I’ve ever seen. Now that enough pages have accrued, however, we discover that Larmee isn’t just tracking bodies in space, but bodies in a particular space. The big geometric planes of white and black that interrupt the snow/stars, we can now tell, are a building or structure of some sort — the white its roof, the black its walls — around which our two heroines twirl and leap and walk and peek. Storywise, there’s not much more to it at the moment, beyond some almost Bendisesque cute dialogue about how “very May ’68″ the place is and how they’ve got tea but want coffee instead. But there needn’t be more to it than what there is: An innovative, arresting, and beautiful way to arrange movement on a comics page, and to arrange a comics page, period.