20 March, 2014

Review: Rage of Poseidon by Anders Nilsen

Go get this. Now.

I loved Rage of Poseidon. Loved. It. Anders Nilsen uses a beautiful silhouette art style to bring a modern reality to the ancient gods and goddesses. His writing is sparse but evocative. In some cases I wished for a bit more to flesh out a concept or character, but I never wished for less.

From the punk rock defiance of Prometheus to the rise of the Nazarene, the gods and goddesses of Nilsen's world struggle to find themselves in a world that has forgotten them.  Does that sound twee? Ok, it's not like what-if-god-was-one-of-us coffee house strumming. Nilsen's work is grounded in reality, in human motivations and change. Minerva's inability to understand the Nazarene at war with her longing to believe. An abusive father apologizing with video games. Finding yourself in a terrible place but not regretting the way you got there.

Keeping this book from getting the attention it deserves is an overly designed presentation. The book is bound, accordion style, as a single sheet. Hold it wrong and the contents cascade out across the room. What works as a limited run art piece doesn't translate as a mass market presentation. I don't want to worry about keeping my book secured on the shelf, I want to consume it, commute with it, share it. A book that demands as much to manipulate as it does to consider is an art statement. Art is inherently exclusive. Rage of Poseidon deserves more than that. I almost ignored this exceptional graphic novel.  I'm glad I went back for a second look.

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