Review: Test Tube
At first I was thinking Test Tube is just random kinda words and images thrown together to make it interesting, I think the right word here is juxtaposition? I’m not sure exactly, what i mean is that seeing two different things together, can form a different idea. For example let’s imagine putting an image of a dog and the word traitor together. That makes a connection in our mind, and leads to ideas that the image or word, on their own might not might. Unless your own pet has eaten your favorite comic book or chewed on the controller for your X-Box or something, then sure you imagine traitor already when you see a dog. But anyways….
This book is filled with seemingly random things, on my first read through of the comic i was floored by how everything works and makes up a complete and total story. Often times comics labeled as “art comix” or “avant-garde” or whatever fancy words are out there, can be pretty hard to penetrate. Artists might use images in ways that are meaningful to them, but hard to see the intended idea without actually climbing inside their brain and understanding things exactly how they do. And though I could see little smudges and doodles in the sidelines of Test Tube that I feel could fall into that definition, the main part of this is not so abstract as to render the comic as impenetrable. No this is something to let soak into my brain for a little bit
The review copy was a digital file and though I really enjoyed it, numerous times laughing or squirming with disgust, I feel that ultimately the best way to appreciate this is in printed form. This is one of the books that I’m going to make my non-comics friends read, even the ones who avoid me because I have tracked them down at odd hours of the night insisting they just have to read Jim Woodring or Meatcake or whatever latest DeForge book I have. This falls in the same category of a comic that is just pure mind bending, when certain themes and characters resurface throughout the story I felt compelled to go back and see if there were clues as to what they were doing, and why. And the clues were there, not just haphazard but serious thinking has gone into creating this
Somehow, I also have to confess that I have not seen Carlos Gonzalaz‘s work before, and so won’t attempt to tell you about him or his story because basically it’d just be me googling him and reading the articles and interviews with him that i could find and regurgitating them for you folks, and really what good is that gonna do? All that I should say is that he used to hang out at Fort Thunder, makes music that I want to listen to and he’s always found inspiration in the work of Jack Kirby. Although it is an entirely different discussion, I am always amazed by how far reaching the King’s influence is. So go check it out at the publisher Floating World Comics
by Carlos Gonzalez
144 pages, 6″ x 9″, B&W, Softcover $14.95 ISBN: 978-1-942801-92-4
Floating World Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review