David McKean & Neil Gaiman's Signal To Noise
Signal To Noise follows the middle-aged film director as he discovers and deals with late stage cancer while working on a script about the 999AD apocalypse that wasn't. The narrative shifts between him and the lives of the midevil villagers of his script he is writing for and audience of one. Appropriately Signal To Noise is short on resolution. The story does throw the reader into the division of between the intended and received work of of art.
Signal To Noise came out in the early nineties. I came across it latter in decade back before I started smoking when I was still visiting comic book stores weekly. I think of it as part of trilogy falling in between Violent Cases and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. At 48 to 96 pages, all three are relatively short for bound American collection but long for stapled comic books. They are much closer to Bandes Dessinées format.
The McKean's artwork in all three is unreal. It is closer to mix media and collage work he did for covers for comic books and CDs. But the simple but elegant line work he used in Cages occasionally peaks trough. His color pallet creates a depth to the page without overwhelming the narrative flow.
I ended up putting this review off until the last minute I hope to come back to these three books. I had planed to review another book from Top Shelf but couldn't get a hold of it. I picked a copy of Signal to Noise one off my book case I think I lent Violent Cases out. Dark Horse has released a a new edition that appears to have some interesting bonus material. I hope to get a weak or two ahead over the next few days as a way taking my mind over the withdraw.