Death of the Artist, by Karrie Fransman (and friends)

https://i1.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/karriefransman/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Death-of-the-Artist-Cover-950-pix-width.jpgWhen five artists came together to write a graphic novel with the theme ‘Death of the Artist,’ they did not know that one of them would die before the book was in print.

Karrie Fransman and four of her friends- Vincent, Helena, Jackson, and Manuel- get together for a week to create art. The artist inside each of them is dying- the essence of her life sipped by the all-consuming entity called Life, through the straw of mundaneness.

Whatever limitations one might assume would be imposed upon the story due to the graphic novel format are gloriously defied.

Linear plotline? Nope. Each artist gives themselves up to telling that part of the story which they want to, and you piece it together as you progress, like stringing a daisy chain. Only the story isn’t as innocent as that sounds.

It is easy to judge these people, who have bared themselves in telling this story. They are in turns self-absorbed, awkward, cruel, selfish… Then dawns the realization that they are us. Each of us have been them at some point in their lives.

The search for eternal youth.

The despair of disappointment.

The greed of desire.

These themes merge and overlap, sometimes coming to the surface to color their actions. This book would appeal to both artists and philosophers, though perhaps one could argue that all artists are philosophers.

The storytelling is powerful, but you can only allow it to affect you if you open your mind to the visuals. The art is not always pleasing to the eye at first glance, but upon taking a few moments to accustom yourself, it is enjoyable.

There is but one thing more: the ubiquitousness of drugs and alcohol rather plays into the stereotype. Contrary to popular belief, they do not make you more creative- in fact, they are more likely to fuel your distraction and eventual destruction, the fate of one unfortunate artist among them.

Image Credit: Karrie Fransman
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