Published by Lostappeared Books. £2.00
“… a tale of hope, the balance between light and dark and the mysteries within ourselves and the universe. It raises questions about our place in the world, but leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions. Each beautifully illustrated panel is cleverly constructed, with its unique style belying the powerful themes within.
“Thought provoking and uplifting, each viewing of The Wormgler offers something new to discover.’
The above came as a small sheet of paper, loose within the pages of this comic. The words above are unattributed to anyone but since they also contain details of David Frankum’s social media, I presume that they were written by him.
The Wormgler is a book that is difficult to describe, so I will start with the basics. It is printed at the size of a CD liner. It contains eight pages of comics within, and each page contains nine square panels in the same grid throughout. Structured like an info graphic in many ways. It is also entirely wordless.
It is a story that is tightly imagined which opens on a bowler hatted man opening a briefcase. The story then shifts between Kubrickesque dreamlike sequences, a nature handbook, a medical research guide and an arthouse horror movie. The theme of destruction, growth and birth that comes from worms, decaying dead flesh and nature takes root (literally) as the madness spirals into the mind of the reader and out into space.
Does it work? I suppose this is a question that I always have to ask when reviewing a comic. But it seems this question is most relevant in this books case. My only answer is that I am not sure. Comics can take many forms and this is without doubt a comic. It is however a long way from an average or commonplace comic. This difference makes it interesting but not wholly successful in my personal opinion.
At eight pages it is too swift a read. I expected more to come. It would work more effectively as a preview for a longer experiment. An experiment that I would be interested in reading.
The only answer is to take note, have a look at the preview images and make your own mind up.
That after all is the point of art is it not?
I applaud David for putting this book out there. If definitely had me thinking.
Davey Frankum is an Eagle Award nominated artist (best newcomer artist 2012) who has contributed artwork for various small press publications such as Top Shelf Productions, FutureQuake, Zarjaz, Massacre for Boys and Dr WTF?! He has also completed artwork for several book/ magazine publishers. Design work, painting, murals, tattoo designs and the occasional sculpture made out of house bricks are other areas he enjoys working in.
• You can buy The Wormgler, Intercorstal and David’s other works – including his stunning art prints – here on Comicsy
Many thanks for reading.