(Guest Review by ROBERT DAYTON) (Drawn and Quarterly) The perfect coffee table book. The perfect coffee table book should overwhelm. Dense in every which way, including loose goose and tight ships. It’s too much. A compendium of ornate excess. Where will the eye go in this loving volume of an innovator? What should the eye focus on? What am I following? Oh, his path. As intentionally indirect as humanly possible. He’s on a cartoonified trip or something blending with the art world. High? Low? Ya know, if you have to ask...Screw that.
Luckily, the different sections break it all up into fine aht werks, comics, collaborations, mixed media drawings collaged and drawn and sculpted, a few extreme close-ups, his address book, and essays about/not about Marc Bell, some true, some not. I two-headed dog dare you to find anyone in all of comic-dom as over-saturated/stimulated as this DoodleKing.
Heavily layered, so layered that there are images of layers. Layers of skin? Layers of the earth? He’s even got a strip in here called Layers of the Eath. Earth? No, eath. Multiple textures encapsulating everything from crackers to meat to bark to nuts-he’s nuts. Friggin’ wizard with a footloose and ever-patient rapidograph crystallizing to his own ever-loving and unique style.
Depths and heights of nonsense, absurdity. Everything comes to life with big eyes and feet: layers of the eath, buildings, air.
Like soft diagrams decontextualized with text labels that contain references to everything including reference letters and reference books: all that comes to life, too!
His later work seems to have drawings of organic pieces that hang out and nearly fit together while surrounded by stylistic, squiggled line ornamentations.
Great care has been put into this book in terms of reproductions, colour separations, etcetera. But if you read it all in one sitting, your brain will be put into permanent flip-flop mode.