Strong Eye ContactChristopher Adams
Part strip collection, part art book, Strong Eye Contact performs over the course of 104 pages a very obtuse, but careful meditation on the cultural position of the cartoonist by employing a series of narrative contrasts and formal tensions. The use of mediums often associated with childhood mark-making (crayons, colored pens, markers), gives the book a simplistic sheen that belies the formal sophistication operating just beneath the surface.
On this surface, the reader is led by a quixotic, Buster Keaton-like figure through a kaleidoscope of crystalline memory fragments, coalescing into one narrative track. As this unnamed figure tries, with limited success, to be a typical American: using consumer products, failed vacations, fabricated family life, he also attempts to be a successful comic, much like the collection of pages he lives on.
The day to day saga is wet and alive with water colors, crayon, markers, and steady beats of spacious white deluges. Landscapes are populated with mountainous close-ups, cacti, abstracted-patterns, confusion, vast empty spaces, gaps – cartooning as a potent puzzle where the strangest magic happens inside the reader’s mind.