09/11/2017

Caleb Orecchio here with thought’s on GG’s new book, I’m Not Here,  from Koyama Press and other news.
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GG’s work has a lot of pain. I’ve always been very frustrated in the past by GG’s work because I felt like, though her comics are excellent, I was not being “let in” so to speak. It always seemed that the emotional resonance of her work was being muffled to the point of complete ambiguity–which isn’t bad–I just felt like something was being consciously held back. I don’t want to pretend that I know GG’s intentions, (and obviously, this is my own opinion) but I definitely feel that lately her work has taken on a more emotionally straight-forward approach, for the better–particularly with I’m Not Here, published by Koyama Press.

The joy of reading a GG comic is the sensational drawing. I really like the below page of suburban houses and lawns. There is an undeniable beauty there that I hesitate to elaborate on just because I don’t feel like I have to explain why something like this is beautiful.

GG’s drawing is a really excellent vessel for emotion. Her “cartoony realism” style (that arguably skirts the border of realism if not for lack of detail–or rather, the use of minimal detail) feels completely comfortable to my eyes and I believe in everything I see. So, when a child cries because a precious toy must be thrown away or a mother is bent over in physical and emotional anguish, it hits like an F# note on a piano–it’s jarring and instantaneous. GG’s drawing eschews the use of impressionistic facial expressions that a less technical cartoonist must utilize to impress emotion upon a reader, and is able to directly depict emotion through face and body language. This to me is a mark of an excellent cartoonist–which, I don’t have to tell you, GG is. This has always been true of GG’s work.

 

I hope I’m not being presumptuous, but what separates this work from her past work, for me, is that this book feels particularly personal. Not that GG’s work has never been personal–in fact I’d argue all of GG’s work is intensely personal. However–I have never felt that F# note with her other work. The immediacy of I’m Not Here is undeniably pertinent–almost like we are going to the source of it all or something. The pain depicted in this book feels real as oppose to metaphorical or situational to me. Make sense?

Personally, this is (if I haven’t made myself clear) GG’s best work. I had a sigh of relief after reading I’m Not Here. There is a real catharsis to this book. If you believe in everything you see therein, like I did, and allow yourself to partake in the emotional arc of the story, you will find yourself–like you just ate a very nice, delicious meal without feeling overly full or drunk–satisfied.

-CO

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if you don’t know, now you know

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Suzy and Cecil– 9-11-2017 – by Gabriella Tito

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Joanie and Jordie – 9-11-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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Caleb Orecchio

Caleb Orecchio

Caleb Orecchio is a cartoonist living in Dayton, OH. His strip, 'Joanie and Jordie', appears every weekday on the Comics Workbook Daily News. He hosts the weekly Dayton Comics Club with fellow cartoonist/designer, Jason Hart.
Caleb Orecchio

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