Notables 2010: John Hankiewicz’s The Offering

John Hankiewicz, The Offering. Ghost Comics, 2009.

John Hankiewicz creates formally elegant and enigmatic comics that are truly sui generis. Though they have elements of story they consistently frustrate narrative expectations. Instead, they are structured using repetition and variation. Everyday people and objects combine and recombine in choreographic patterns that suggest but elude meaning (one reference point might be Maya Deren’s seminal avant-garde film “Meshes of the Afternoon”, only without the narrative payoff). Critic (and 2010 Notable cartoonist!) Derik Badman found an interesting quote from Hankiewicz here where he talks about how the practice (and concept) of collage helps him create his comics.

Age: precocious teen and up. John’s comics would be great to discuss in the context of experimental narrative, poetry, or Surrealism.

What is this “Notable” thing all about? Matt and Jessica are the series editors for the Best American Comics, and are responsible for the Notable Comics list at the back of the book, which is comprised of virtually all the comics we sent to the guest editor that weren’t picked, as well as a number of others that we think are noteworthy for various reasons, but that we didn’t send to the guest editor.

We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author? So this is one of a series of posts focusing on each of the Notables from the 2010 Best American Comics.

Have or know of a comic we should look at? Find submission info here.


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