Poetry Comics from the Book of Hours
Author: Bianca Stone
Publisher: LSU Press (2016)
Beautiful mutants, vagabond scuba divers, lovers with disordered gorilla hearts: These poetry comics place the lyric and the grotesque, the elegant and the despondent, side by side in one emotionally intense panel after another. At the vanguard of a movement that embraces our increasingly visual culture and believes poetry has an essential place therein, Bianca Stone redefines how we think about poetry, what we expect from comics, and how we interpret our own lives.
Although reminiscent of illuminations by William Blake, Thomas Phillips's A Humument, and more recent visual-poetic hybrids by Mary Ruefle and Matthea Harvey, Stone's comics feature a mixture of dreamy expression and absurdist wit that is entirely her own. Her watercolor panels are filled with anthropomorphic horses and baffled ballerinas that guide the reader through the poet's graphic dreamscape: "I was moving like a monsoon through a forest. I was thinking about where I saw myself in two thousand years... And where I saw myself was a tiny subspace ripple sliding through the corridors with a plastic horse in my hand." This book, its own small universe, erases genre distinctions between the visual and the literary, and offers readers a poetic vision of artistic possibilities.