Various comics and illustrations by Uno Moralez
Uno Moralez, writer/artist
Read them for free at UnoMoralez.com
I’ve been struggling mightily to put my finger on what the art and comics of Uno Moralez remind me of. I got that he draws the faces and figures of his characters to evoke that weird frisson you get when you see commercial illustration from other cultures, where what’s perfectly normal in (say) Eastern Europe or the Indian subcontinent or Southeast Asia or Central America looks just slightly off-kilter and disconcerting to us. And I got that he paces his horror comics with the attention to narrative economy and rhythm of a dark Nick Gurewitch. (That comic about the kid and his telescope gave me panicky giggles with each subsequent reveal.) And I got that there’s a massive, in-your-face dose of kink and smut, tying it to similar traditions in Japanese illustrations and comics and also reinforcing that “I shouldn’t be seeing this” feeling. But that weird, glitchy computer drawing style — what is that all about? Then it hit me: It looks like a black-and-white version of the still images they used as cut scenes in old 8-bit Nintendo games. It feels wrong to apply that aesthetic to these horrific images and stories; and because the style is so mechanical, it’s a wrongness that feels as though it has settled into and infected the very digital medium conveying it — the computer equivalent of Pim and Francie‘s Golden Age animation studio gone horribly wrong. Put it all together and you’ve got one of the most impressive and fully formed horror aesthetics I’ve seen…well, since Michael DeForge, I suppose, coupled with that same “whoa” factor I got from the format and pacing of Emily Carroll’s brilliantly assembled “His Face All Red.” Jeepers creepers, does this person hit my buttons.