Notables 2010: Andrei Molotiu’s Otherwise Untitled

Andrei Molotiu, “Otherwise Untitled,” Nautilus, 2008.

Andrei Molotiu is one of the originators and certainly the leading proponent of abstract comics—non-narrative comics with mostly non-figurative imagery that invites multiple readings and interpretations. Andrei edited  the wonderful Abstract Comics anthology (Fantagraphics), from which several other Notable Comics in this series are drawn (Derik Badman, Warren Craghead, & Alexey Sokolin (forthcoming)) and its associated blog. Around the same time that anthology came out, Danish publisher Fahrenheit published this collection of a few of Andrei’s recent abstract comics. In fact, the first one in the book, “Expedition to the Interior”, was featured as a Notable Comic in Best American Comics 2009 based on its original print appearance in Blurred Vision #4. “Otherwise Untitled” is a stately work framed in eight pages of three wide panels each. The aspect ratio of the panels are cinematic, suggesting a link to abstract filmmakers like Stan Brakhage or Harry Smith (well, those guys worked in 16mm and therefore a much less widescreen aspect ratio but never mind!). The thrill of reading Andrei’s comics is in watching images and rhythms and hints of narrative coalesce and then dissolve as you read. And each time you re-read them you get a different experience.

Age: College, though it could be interesting to use with younger readers, even ESL students…


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