Friday, October 25, 2013

"Glenn Ganges in Mind and Body" by Kevin Huizenga

Kevin Huizenga (HIGH zing gah) has made a name for himself in the world of alt comics in the last decade. His big claim to fame is his main protagonist and everyman, Glenn Ganges. Glenn is a normal guy who has little problems like everyone else. He has insomnia; He has an infestation of starlings around his house; He receives mail about missing children; He's a normal dude. Kevin Huizenga uses him to talk about issues that are on his mind or put him in stories that interest him.

The first thing that I notice about Kevin's work is that his art is deceptively simple. Like Herge's Tin Tin his people are highly stylized and simple while his backgrounds and settings are highly detailed and relatively realistic. 
He has a wonderful grasp of traditional comic techniques though he expands on these by often throwing in heavy design elements and even outright abstract elements.

In “Mind and Body” Kevin uses the comic book medium in ways that are impossible in other mediums. He makes comic’s standard word balloon a physical part of the story showing Glenn struggle with them and even shoot them. 

By using the unique set of icons available to comics, Kevin creates a totally unique experience to comics. In this piece the way he tells the story is as exciting as the story itself. Glenn Ganges is the Schwarzenegger of the dream set. Word balloons become like jelly fish in a sea of head space that try to crush him. So Glenn takes direct action against them with his hunting rifle. 
More importantly Kevin also creates something that can't be reproduced in any other medium easily. It can't be reproduced in film, or literature without going to great lengths to explain the situation that is immediately obvious in comics. Deceptively so in that if one wasn't looking for the abstraction, one might not even notice how unique this situation is.
In Glenn Ganges in "Body and Mind" Kevin Huisengz has achieved a mastery of the comic medium that few people ever achieve and goes up there with the greats like Art Spiegelman and Scott McCloud.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. Kevin H. certainly uses the medium to utmost to impressive and amusing effect. I am proud to say that I live in his city too! I've picked up several of his self-published works here.