Notables 2010: Henrik Rehr’s Reykjavik

Henrik Rehr, Reykjavik, 2009.

The New York-based Danish artist Henrik Rehr (you see how complicated and vague this idea of “American” comics is) works in a variety of modes and here he takes on abstract comics. In fact, this slim volume was published in the same series as Andrei Molotiu’s Nautilus (Rehr also has a piece in Molotiu’s Abstract Comics anthology) and to compare them offers an object lesson in the diversity of “abstraction” in comics. Unlike Molotiu’s organic, Rorschach-meets-Pollock grids, in Rehr’s book-length comic you can detect traces of brush and pen lines and conventional marks—such as cross-hatching and drybrush—that are associated with representative art. And instead of Molotiu’s regular grid, Rehr’s pages constantly mutate and change layouts where even the rectangular panels are skewed, overlapped with other panels, or almost overwhelmed by stormy, heaving backgrounds. What the works share is a sense of grandeur and a silent voyage through a micro/macro organic “space”.

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.

The “age” suggestion is what we think might be the minimum age for reading and appreciating a work. All works on the list, though, should appeal to older audiences too. It’s a minimum suggestion only.


6 Comments to Notables 2010: Henrik Rehr’s Reykjavik

  • by Frank Schorr

    On April 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Where can you get that Henrik Rehr books and the one by Andrei Molotiu “Nautilus”?

  • by Matt

    On April 22, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Hi Frank, those books were published by a Danish indy comics publisher called Fahrenheit. Short of traveling to Europe your best shot is to contact some of the better comic book stores in the US to see if they might know how to get copies. Chicago Comics, Million Year Picnic (Cambridge) and Big Planet Comics (MD) all do a good job of stocking European comics. Another idea is Bries, a Belgian web store that ships internationally. Good luck!

  • by Frank Schorr

    On April 22, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Hey Matt thanks for the info.
    I ran into the “Abstract Comics” anthology at the Book Arts found it amazingly interesting.
    I luckily found a cheap copy of that (prices are insane online).
    Thank you so much.

  • by Frank Schorr

    On August 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I finally got a copy of both Nautilus and Reykjavik from Fahrenheit. I found that buying it directly from their site was the best way of getting it (who would have thought?). Thanks so much for setting me up in the right directly. Beautifully illustrated books.

  • by Matt

    On August 6, 2015 at 10:41 am

    That’s great, thanks for letting me know. Another book in a similar vein you might check out is the French artist Abdelkader Benchamma’s Random, published by L’Association (and currently out of stock, it’s been too popular):!catalogue/auteurs/b/open-auteur/4116/open/5905

  • by Frank Schorr

    On August 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Wow! That looks really neat. I’m going to get a copy of that as well. Thanks for the tip and taking the time.

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