Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Mini-Kus! Wednesday: Rebeka Lukosus' Oops

The choices that the artists in the mini-Kus! series make are interesting. Some choose straightforward narrative. Some of the comics are deliberately oblique and defy straightforward meaning. Others are poetic and demand close scrutiny with regard to the plastic qualities of word and image. Others are whimsical and play around with the form for fun. I'd put Rebeka Lukosus' Oops (mini-Kus! #77) in the latter category. This is an exploration of shape, color, and form that's all part of one six-armed woman's imagination. 

In particular, she forestalls boredom by looking at the colors and shapes around her and imagining all kinds of fun scenarios. That immediate boredom is broken up by the delivery of groceries, which helps send her down that fantasy realm. She gets an orange, a bottle of water, and a plastic bag. After trying to arrange them in a pleasing manner, she dives right into the fantasy that she's created a beach, with the orange as the sun, the bag as the sand, and the bottle of water as the ocean. Shedding her clothes in that fantasy, there's a delightful two-page spread where she's happily flailing around in the sand in a variety of positions. Then she imagines swimming around the water, as the bright orange shifts to a dark blue, with the line here in white.

Finally, the sun becomes an orange and she eats it. As she feels the juice drip on her arm, she utters the only word of dialogue in the story ("Oops"), breaking that illusion. The spell broke, the comic shifts to black and white--black background, white lines. It's not a mournful moment, just one connecting actual, visceral pleasures to imaginary ones. The line between the two can be harsh sometimes. Lukosus' skill is allowing the reader to fully inhabit every world she creates with her command over color and form, keeping her line to a simple scrawl that emphasizes its plastic qualities rather than force the reader into a naturalistic form that would disrupt these dream scenarios. 

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