Saturday, December 5, 2020

31 Days Of CCS, #5: Mac Maclean

Mac Maclean's The Labyrinth is a powerful, personal story about isolation and connection. It's about Maclean's father, a preacher who also spent a lot of time in the community. When he came home, he retreated into his labyrinthian office, a maze of papers and books. Young Mac wanted to spend time with him as a child, and he simply wouldn't do it, so they had to resort to attention-getting antics in order to get any kind of attention. Maclean hints that as an adult, their father did not approve of them in hurtful ways, emphasized in a two-page spread where they say "But eventually I'd do anything not to see him" and their back is turned away from him as he holds a disapproving glare on his face.

Maclean explores their own tendencies to self-isolate and compares it to their father's behaviors, understanding the line between an introvert breathing freely while alone and someone who is walled off from the outside world. The key difference, as Maclean notes, is that they have friends who love them and drag them out from their own self-constructed labyrinth. They remind them that interactions with others are necessary and sustaining, a fact that they lose when isolation leads to self-loathing. Getting to that place allowed them to forgive their father and start to move past that trauma, and it's clear that documenting this as part of a narrative was part of that process. Maclean's line is scribbly and spare, with some lines almost slashing at the page. They also use a spot color wash of a metallic blue to add weight and definition to their pages, and it's highly effective. This comic would be more effective at a larger size, in order to let the images breathe more and make some of the lettering more legible. All told, this is self-assured approach to a difficult topic. 

No comments:

Post a Comment