“You have likely kissed another body.”

On Topics
by Michael DeForge
(Breakdown Press, 2015)
Review by BK Munn
This is a pretty little comic made up of two short stories by DeForge and printed via risograph by London UK’s Breakdown Press. The first story, “About Kissing” is another in the series of DeForgian mocumentaries we’ve been treated to over the last couple of years, this time about the evolutionary predecessors of making out. Over 9 pages, DeForge takes us from the creation of life to a modern apartment where two lovers engage in a marathon (well, 9 panels) of sucking face.If you let this story get to you, because of the cartoonist’s penchant for scatalogical themes you may never visualize the act of kissing quite the same way again. As we have come to expect from this artist, the story has great pacing and does a lot with a typically minimalist little. I really enjoyed a couple of the larger panels here depicting a phantasmagoria of creatures.
The second story, “Regarding Quicksand,” of course isn’t really about quicksand as much as it is about body dissociation. A man trapped in quicksand, only his face visible, makes a plea for rescue to the reader, while narrating the sensations he experiences below the surface. His imagination conjures all kinds of fears of what might be happening down there, which DeForge illustrates with a pixieish glee. The whole silly thing has the feel of an existential enquiry or philosophical treatise on know-ability, wrapped in whimsy. Like “About Kissing,” this is another slight tale lacking any real narrative drive that mostly serves as an excuse for DeForge to draw cute creatures and riff on body horror. Beautiful and almost soothing, though.