The Cage

The Cage

Graphic Novel - 2013
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First published in 1975, this work foreshadowed the rise of the graphic novel. While promoted by insiders in the years that followed, it is not well-known. Its relative obscurity may be due to the late Vaughn-James's devotion to his highly personal vision. Presented here are a series of black-and-white drawings, nearly clinical in their precision, detailing an enigmatic structure in an unspecified place and time. Accompanying the illustrations are bits of text, which are perhaps explicative in their unseen whole but as fragments offer only tantalizing hints of possible unity. Nonlinear in its approach to both space and time, the study mixes the banally familiar with the disturbingly alien. What emerges is not comprehensible in any mundane sense, but it presents enough of an illusion of a greater whole lurking just out of frame to be addictively engaging.
Publisher: Toronto : Coach House Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781552452875
Characteristics: 190 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Sep 08, 2015

Pretty interesting line-based art, dipping it's toes in surreal forms. The text is a little wordy & half-gibberish stream-of-thought style writing, but is interesting & even humorous here & there. To be honest I didn't read it thoroughly, but it wasn't quite as good as I hoped. It has a legendary reputation, I'll pick up a copy someday & re-read it.

forbesrachel Nov 04, 2014

A graphic novel unlike any other. Eschewing the normal multi-panel form, characters, and basic plot for an experience that defies logical thought, the Cage is not for all. These detailed, inked drawings evoke something in us, what that something is, is hard to define. Pages, images, and words are strung together in one continuous flow. We the readers move through these images as if we are in a first person game, observing the cage, rooms, streets, and the reminders of the life that is now absent. These images are almost surrealistic in the destruction and desolation they portray, while still being realistic in their technically, and geometrically correct forms. Reoccurring objects and perspectives seem to be the major links across the whole. The Cage is a creation of creativity. It is just like how dreams and ideas spontaneously appear in your mind with no thought to time, place, or events. Whether half-formed, fleeting, or wildly jumping about, they come in a stream. Thus this is a window into that. We can barely grasp this elusive thread, and the author himself admits to the same in his prelude, but we are drawn to it because of this very quality.

Oct 02, 2014

Difficult to evaluate. The JMG Le Clezio of graphic novels.


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