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Graphic Narrative: Emily Steinberg

emily-steinberg“First sort through Emily Steinberg’s A Mid Summer Soirée in quick succession,” writes Tahneer Oksman, Graphic Narratives Reviews Editor of Cleaver Magazine, “Then go back and read it slowly.”

I did just that, and found that as I progressed through the images with accompanying text, I became more and more amused by the story of each whimsical character.

“He thought his Linen Suit was the way to go.”
“She wondered if her new Coif was appropriate for an evening soiree.”
“He’d received the invite only a day before and felt decidedly B-listed.”

There’s no transition to connect the images and stories to one another, other than the overall title. As Oksman writes, “Trying to fill in the narrative gaps is part of the pleasure of the journey, as is, on the contrary, moving past those gaps in favor of experiencing the piece’s seductive rhythm.”

Going back through it slowly allows time to absorb the artwork, which is fantastic collage/sketch design work. Using newspaper, with lots of crosswords sections, some of Steinberg’s images have almost an exquisite corpse feel to them that makes it both disconcerting and impossible to look away.

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