Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Revue July 29: Romantically Apocalyptic

Pull Yourself Together And Get Ready For

After you meet Mr. Snippy, you'll never look at a bad day the same way again. His bad days include:
*Homicidal houses
*Insane travelling companions
*Getting tied up in a pink wig, while sober
and oh, yeah. Living through a nuclear winter. Or trying, anyway.
Some days are bad, and some days are Romantically Apocalyptic.

The brain-child of Vitaly S Alexius, the website tells us 'Romantically Apocalyptic was first conceptualized in 2005 as a series of post-apocalyptic paintings on deviantart by Vitaly S Alexius. It was developed into an online graphic novel in 2010 and grew into a surreal, collaborative, multimedia art project that includes: poetry, prose, photography, digital art, music and film.'
The current creative team is:

Art Director:
Vitaly S Alexius

Vitaly S, Oggy B, Chico G, Mabi.

Journal writers:
Vitaly S Alexius, Kaitlin Gossett.

Contributor Artists:
Mabi, Allyssa N / Hatsie, IIDanmrak, Andrey F, Christine Z, Ivan Yakushev, Malin Falch, Caroline H

UK Events Organisers:
Clare Cook, Oggy B

Chief Music Editor:
Oggy B

Ze Intern:
Tina Hoffman

Romantically Apocalyptic can be read at this link  and purchased at this one. Oh, and by the way, this comic's animated. It's definitely a work that takes your brain for a spin.

The Rating

A Topsy Turvy Tour De Force!

The Raves

To begin with, this thing is gorgeous. With its grasp of artistic conventions and its offbeat sense of humor, RA takes you through a cracked looking glass and into some of your weirder dreams. 

Then there's the world building. Tech advanced and human nature did not. Eventually, the inevitable occured: our species decimated itself and the planet. Now the handful of survivors scrounge in the rubble, fight creatures mutated to survive so much better than they can in the wastes, use the bits of tech they're left to scrape a living and dream of other things. But you don't have to look so glum about it!

The characterization is a fascinating and fun exploration of altered states of consciousness and mental process. If Mad Max had sung kids' songs or if Bruce Willis had been on bad Prozac while creating his dire futuristic movies, they would have been a bit like RA. It's a trippy ride through the comforts of delusional thought, gallows humor and friendship in the grimmest of grimdark situations. 
The Captain and Pilot have gone so far down into their own dreams that reality can no longer hurt them.  They set up Christmas parties with skeletons and hold conversations with billboards. To keep the readers in their mindset, the realistic art is regularly broken up with chibi scribbles.
Funnily enough, in their situation this kind of dissociation isn't a terrible idea. If they didn't reinvent the world into something they enjoy living in, they probably wouldn't survive long.
Unfortunately for their 'friend' Charles Snippy, he's still sane. He's relying on sheer stubbornness and weary survival instinct. And he's getting really sick of these nutcases. The contrast between Snippy's dogged and nihilistic sanity and the rosy madness of his companions is disturbing, intriguing, and downright laugh-out-loud funny.

Surreal, silly and terrifying by turns, this is a story worth following.

The Razzes

Er...correction. This is a story worth following when you can. While I enjoy the explorations of altered states of consciousness, at times the story wanders so far into the surreal that it becomes incoherent. This is especially true in the primarily textual sections, which read at times like a narrative and at times like pages from a psych patient's diary. That's interesting for a paragraph, maybe, but it palls very quickly. As a reader I found myself scrolling past these sections, not invested enough to parse them for meaning. But there would be a picture that drew me back into the flow. That's the problem with experimental writing: some experiments blow up.

The Revue

Get some shots or a bowl and give it a read. You'll be glad you did. Allonsy!

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