Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Death Deals Review

Rob Clough reviews Death Deals.

The perfect holiday gift for those you hold dear.

Death Deals, by Eamon Espey. This is perhaps the most intense of all of Espey’s comics, and that’s saying something. Drawn in his exacting, almost vibratory line, this is a loose collection of narrative images weaving in and out of each other depicting murder, mayhem, ritual sacrifice, sexual violation, body horror and other gruesome but deliberately static images. Espey manages the neat trick of flipping between standard panel-to-panel transitions and still drawings that look more like something from a cave painting or stained glass painting. The most disturbing images include a Santa Claus murdering everyone (including pets) in a home after his discovery of a gun as a gift he’s delivering warps his mind, as well as an unflinching ritual sacrifice and violation of a young woman manacled to a tree stump.

These are images straight from Espey’s id, reminiscent of the sort of thing that Rory Hayes used to do–only with a steady hand and clear mind behind them. His drawings, horrific as they appear, are absolutely exquisitely rendered. Espey’s comics are nightmarishly absurd, drawn with a clarity that forces the reader to confront beauty and ugliness in the same panel. They are genuinely disturbing and thought-provoking in a way that doesn’t feel affected or calculating. Espey is not trying to shock, but rather seeks to get these images out of his head and onto paper.

Purchase at

MORE: Shows 2010

The year is ending soon. And as I sit in a wet red tunnel, I am reminded of voices and burnt Vaseline. Goodbye Rodentia. Hello Helicopter. I've been born again. Into the whale eye that hangs from the clouds. In between I've been a part of some cool shows. Here's a rundown:

Even My Mum Can Make a Book

zine show in Istanbul. This looked great and I was excited to be part of it. Take that computer!

Initiated by Gamze Özer, Timothée Huguet and Kristina Kramer this project shows alternative publishings like zines, fanzines, artist books and selfmade editions from around the world.

Manzara Perspectives Gallery
Istanbul, Turkey

Forum of Forty Champions

I drew the backdrop and other design elements for this show at the Minstallation Gallery curated by Gary Kachadourian. Forty artists made characters with a variety of powers. Witch Hat provided sound. After opening we all went ice skating while noise bands screeched on the side of the rink. No lie.

detail of Tocha by Lisa Krause. Hummingbird head, cardinal bones and hot glue gun were used.

Creative Alliance
Baltimore, MD

Bound and Gagged

curated by Tom Neely. A bunch of cartoonists dissect the gag construct. Art show coincided with a book release party which published the work in the show. Buy it!

Secret Headquarters
Los Angeles, CA

My contribution:

Sketchbook 3

Sketchbook 2