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Indie Comic Review: Fractal Cascade

Comics, maybe more than any other medium, are prone to being weird. There's no bar of entry for comic art. Anyone can draw a comic in any style and try to make a sequential story out of it. Because of this freedom, there are some really wacky comics out there. Fractured Cascade is certainly one of them. It's structured mainly like an anthology, but not in the typical sense. There are two main stories broken up into parts, with some short one-pagers and other art pieces thrown in. It's an extremely hard work to classify, which makes it also hard to review. But it's an interesting case study for both artwork and storytelling within the comics medium.

 

The first and most prominent of the two stories being serialized is about a being calling himself Charles the Person. But he doesn't really appear to be a person. He has a very bizarre fanny pack which he says is where he poops from. And yet he constantly takes stuff out of it. He's also looking to bring his father back to life? I'm asking because I'm not quite sure. The plot of the story was largely lost on me. As was the second tale, which felt like a very trippy dream sequence of people on a traveling spaceship? Again, not quite sure.

 

From a storytelling standpoint, it's hard to judge the work as a constructed narrative. It's just so nonsensical that all standard storytelling criteria are thrown out the window. I'm not even positive that my understanding of the story is correct, so don't take my word for it. Instead, this book would appeal to those uninterested in following a compelling narrative. Instead, its obscure and absurdist art is more of the highlight. It is certainly not for everyone, but this art style of radical abstractism does have some fans, and they will enjoy seeing it employed in some form of a linear story, especially a nonsensical one. Also, a lot of the standalone art pieces are quite impressive. From a production standpoint, the lettering definitely needs the most work as a lot of it was a strain to read. The vast majority of comic fans probably won't find anything appealing about this work. But there does exist a very particular niche that will enjoy it.

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