PW Reviews Panter's SATIROPLASTIC

“Satiroplastic: The Sketchbook of Gary Panter” / Publishers Weekly / Publishers Weekly Staff / April 11, 2005

Panter is famed in underground comics circles for his voluminous sketchbooks. This facsimile of a 1999-2001 sketchbook is a departure from his usual stream-of-consciousness psychedelia. As he writes in his introduction, this work was more of a travel companion than a playground--it chronicles his trips to Texas; Oaxaca, Mexico; and a variety of Brooklyn neighborhoods as well as his views of the World Trade Center towers as they collapsed. Panter did not fill the book chronologically, but instead drew on whatever blank page he found, and the result is uniquely immersive. Readers move from Brooklyn to Texas and back again within the space of a few pages, guided only by the virtuoso draftsmanship. Panter writes that "drawing from the natural world can be daunting. One can't capture all the details and richness of the world, the density, spaciality [sic] and color of reality, but only offer a codified version of those vistas and moments. Luckily our minds are fiendishly clever at inference and interpreting visual codes." And, also luckily, Panter's trademark distressed line is sensitive to all his surroundings, bringing a city street to life as easily as a country vista. Panter is an engaging, funny and insightful visual companion, and this work offers an illuminating look into the mind of a creative visionary. (June 15)

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