Curses

This collection of Kevin Huizenga’s comics may appear to reflect the mundane, everyday lives of middle class North Americans, but this is a grand deception masking a transcendent foray into profoundly psychological, mystical and religious territory. Ostensibly the biography of Glenn Ganges, a young man who goes to school, meets pals at burger joints, and has a wife and kid, the book persists in leaving normal, at one point making a segue into an adaptation of gothic Victorian novelist J. Sheridan le Fanu’s work. One story starts innocently enough with four golfers discussing the environments that motivate them to run to the urinal (hey, doesn’t everybody feel like they need a piss in a bookstore?), then shifts into a debate on the reality of Hell and climaxing with the ultimate judgment bestowed on a man who insists on judging, despite the teachings of his lord. The tale of Glenn and his wife trying to get pregnant morphs from a medical documentary into farce and then a Lovecraftian tale of demons and weird Magick. Whatever range he manifests in story, Huizenga more than matches in art. From his simple Peanuts style of cartooning to his elaborate cross-hatching and brooding inking, he creates multiple moods and elicits myriad emotions. Curses will surprise, unsettle, provoke thought and amuse, even with repeated readings. (Lloyd Chesley)

by Kevin Huizenga, $24.95, 144 pgs, Drawn and Quarterly, PO Box 48056, Montreal, QC H2V 4S8, drawnandquarterly.com


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