Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Skyscrapers of the Midwest
Joshua W. Cotter
Skyscrapers of the Midwest
AdHouse Books, 2008
This book is made of several editions of stories, designed in the form of the newspaper \ magazine of the Midwest. For example, an issue is opened by advertising pages, followed by letters from readers, and then graphic stories themselves.
Cotter`s Midwest is human-like cats, costume of robots, god robots and the humanoid robots, as well as everything that is more accustomed to humans and inhabit the world of children: dinner with grandmother, going to the church as the worst that can happen, scout camp, lost favorite toys, small quarrels with brother. Cotter very well captures the theme of childhood. Already in the first part we see how one little boy wasn’t accepted to play football and he was making it up as a giant robot comes to the football field, destroying everything in its path and grabbing the other children. Offended, the boy at the moment presents himself as a savior of people, changing clothes, too, in a robot suit, beats the enemy and becomes a favorite among girls. Here are two brothers help her grandmother prepare dinner, watch TV, and then their grandma goes to the closet and disappears forever. In one of the following parts, we see a school photo album, a fly inside the head as a symbol of the headache. Senior students take away a toy dinosaur and throw it out of the bus window. A boy with parents going back to find the toy all the way, asking does the toy not hurt.
It's always comical stories, but the laughter here is through palm, with a tense face. The only moments of pure and joyful laughter attend only on commercials at the beginning of each part. Cigarettes for kids "Fun": «Doctors recommend!", and it is incredibly funny.
The author (who is also an artist) very skillfully draws, although it is fairly simple black and white pictures, but obtain very funny characters and a lot of juicy details.
All is well with this book, it is written very professionally, but I failed, whatever I wanted this, to love it. The point, apparently, is that the novel consists of individual books, fragments, which are permeated by single spirit, but do not have a single plot, the final puzzle isn’t here. When there is no plot, you can bribe the reader, inviting him something intangible within each part, the mystery that leaves an aftertaste. However, the author does not do this, too: that is a situation with professionally made chairs, but it’s uncomfortable to seat on them.
"Skyscrapers of the Midwest" really skillfully reaches the sky, but to hurt any feelings - it does not work.