January 26th, 2012 / 12:33 pm

First Word

I have a longstanding interest in comics. There was a long period where I wanted more than anything to make a great online experimental comic. I still want to make comics, actually, but as an artist I am debilitatingly neurotic. I delete everything I draw on the computer, trash everything I draw on paper. I spend a lot of time wishing that I knew an artist who would like to work with me and make a lot of money. (I am overconfident in this regard, perhaps.)

Patrick Farley was one of many inspirations. His work has regularly bumped up against the limits of current technology. The results were sometimes awkward and even garish, but they were also sometimes incredible, and they always felt like a glimpse into the future of the form. His new comic¬†First Word is perhaps the first time I’ve read something by Farley and felt that it was doing exactly what it meant to do. The technology, and Farley’s ability to manipulate it, has caught up, and there are several truly breathtaking sequences. I guess I should mention that it’s NSFW, unless you work somewhere awesome.

I’ll admit I’m not always entirely clear on what’s going on — the comic is wordless — but there comes a point where that really stops mattering. Curious what you all think of this.

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  1. Jessie Rose Moore

      Always find artistic interpretations of creation interesting, and parts of Farley’s work were simply stunning! The graphics could still be beautiful on paper, but would lose some of the impact the strobing and fading and LIGHT create.¬†
      Additionally, love this as an example of technology enhancing, rather than limiting, our opportunities to publish.

  2. A D Jameson

      Thanks, Mike! Comics are my first and last literary love.

  3. Marc

      I dug it! I do feel like a few of the panels could’ve been brighter, though that might have been his intention.

      There’s this dude teaching at Houston, Mat Johnson, who gave a pretty amazing presentation on the power of comic books, and how modern comic book heroes have replaced our need for god(s), but I’ll be damned if I can find the link for it anywhere.

  4. mimi

      it isn’t difficult to imagine all the information-laden sounds our early hominid ancestors heard – the wind, the rain, thunder, babbling-brook to roaring-river, crackling-fire, shadow-scurrying, bird-calling, lupine-howling, treetop-chattering, a twig-snap – at what point does utterance become firstword?

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