Monday, November 23, 2015

Thirty Days of CCS #23: Laurel Lynn Leake

Laurel Lynn Leake is an artist exploring a number of different storytelling strategies and themes. Her ongoing Poly Morphous (series is about mental health, and the casual, scribbly line creates an intimate relationship between text and reader. Her Poly character here is struggling with the sense of being broken as someone with mental illness, as feeling as they have no worth or value. Fighting through that feeling, acknowledging that feeling for what it is and still retaining some sense of worth. It's not denying the illness, but accepting it and embracing it as one part of being human. Leake here is sharing information that's both confessional and prescriptive, as she is forgiving herself for being human and asks the reader that they do it too.

Her the welt's awoken is comics-as-poetry, with jagged lines mimicking roots and lightning and the color splotches evoking blood and water. It's a comic about survival and isolation, and how the latter sometimes can help with the former--but not always. Suspension is a standard narrative short story, one about a work crew in the future that touches on diversity and body image being codified directly into the economy. Leake very deliberately creates a world where the workers represent a broad swathe of gender, race and ethnicity, but the real issue is regard to the suits that the workers are wearing. If they gain weight, they automatically make less money for "wear and tear", a direct statement about the inevitability of corporations finding any way possible to limit the rights of workers. Her expressive, naturalistic style is key to the success of this piece, and the green wash is a clever device that makes everyone the same color while informing the reader of the sort of greenhouse nature of their dangerous job.

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