Published on March 25th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Intersect #5 Review
Previously in Intersect: the people and environment of the city have started mutating, changing, merging to create something new but something that still remembers. The cause of it is unknown, as is the purpose, if there is indeed a purpose to it all.
This month sees the city decay and crumble, a vast mutating landscape. At the heart of it all is the changed form of Alison/Jason whose internal monologue is a fight for understanding and an attempt to stabilise her/his personality. All of this takes place by the side of Alison’s grave but there’s a twist to the tale which throws yet more confusion into the narrative.
The main monologue is overlaid on to a selection of panels which fall like Tarot cards giving the reader an insight into the past life of Alison and Jason. There are glimpses of memorable places, acts of bondage and a moment of violence. The speech within these panels are of lovers declaring their feelings for each other but this is somewhat in contrast to the images and as the story plays out there is a sinister edge to both pictures and words.
In the main, present, story there is also a sinister element as Fawkes creates some real tension as the spider-lady creeps onwards towards Alison/Jason. She edges nearer and nearer throughout the pages of the comic and her slow progress becomes increasingly more unnerving and unsettling as the final confrontation approaches.
This issue contains acts of violence and scenes of beauty but the story is almost indecipherable, and purposefully so. At the end of this issue Fawkes adds a selection of ‘Story so far’ pages, each describing an element of the comic in poetical ways and it’s these pages that give the overall narrative some weight and depth. In one Fawkes says that
“Part of you is hoping that it will come together in the end, that there will be a moment that makes you say, “Ah, it all makes sense now.” Another part of you knows that would only disappoint you.”
In this statement Fawkes nails his own story squarely on the head. From the very beginning there has been a mystery over the narrative and no clear indication of what is going on and this ha,s to a certain degree, instilled a sense of wonder in the reader; a desire to understand that keeps you coming back month after month but Fawkes challenges you with the notion that there might not be any understanding to gain. What if it continues to make no sense? After all so much of the world we live in makes no sense so why, here in the depths of Fawkes’ own dream world, should there be any sense?
It’s a bold idea to play with and as you read ‘The story so far’ pages of the comic it becomes clear that this is an extremely personal and emotional journey for the writer/artist. Everything becomes symbolic but it is using a language that we haven’t been taught therefore so much of it is open to misinterpretation. It is a problem faced by many contemporary artists as they exhibit their own personal lexicon of signs and signifiers to a bewildered, uninitiated audience. The knee jerk reaction is to make work that is easier for an audience to read, adopt the symbolism of the mass market so that your voice can be understood but the other option, the one Fawkes has chosen, is to risk all and let the readers work for the Art.
Intersect is not a five minute read to be cast aside and forgotten until the next issue comes out. If you want to take anything worthwhile away from it you, dear reader are going to have to work for it and revisit the pages over and over again. When you visit a gallery you may be struck by a painting or sculpture that you love but don’t understand initially . The more you study it the more you get out of it. Intersect is a comic with those types of qualities. I have been harsh on it in previous months but it’s now under my skin and spreading like an infection. I can feel a metaphorical metamorphism happening as I read each chapter and I may not understand exactly what the writer is saying but I have an understanding that makes sense to me. I have found what Intersect means to me and each reader will have to find what Intersect means to them.
Intersect will not appeal to many people, it isn’t Batman or Captain America after all, but it is Contemporary Art in a comic book format and that is something fairly unique. Fawkes said in an interview with Comics Alliance in 2014 that Intersect was
“something that I want readers to feel more than understand”
and after five months I am starting to ‘feel’ this comic on a level beyond the amazing painted art work.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer/Artist: Ray Fawkes