The Excavation

Fantagraphics

Apr 03, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Max Andersson's The Excavation is a warped, dark, pseudo-nightmare unlike anything in recent memory. A man brings his girlfriend home to meet his family, only to find that his home is not where he remembers it. When finally they locate the man's parents, they're relatively nonchalant about the fact that the man's father has taken to assembling his wife and kids from other body parts, much as Doctor Frankenstein did to his famed monster. What follows is a twisted, meandering adventure that goes where it wants and when, from a movie shoot to a dungeon/restaurant, to a subterranean abode. Drawn in a jagged pen and ink stylewith the cutting, blocky appearance of woodcutsthe art lends a second level of surrealism to the already disturbing story written in blunt, often un-emotive statements that simplistically carry the story quasi-haphazardly from one page to the next, one sentence at a time.

Andersson, who is unwavering in his stylistic choices for The Excavation, engenders an insecurity about reality often difficult to achieve on the page. When body parts are detachable, men can live without faces, apartments are separated by windows instead of walls, and hand-sewn people are commonplace, a world truly has no boundaries. The Excavation is purportedly based on Andersson's dreams, and while he achieves a fugue-like impossibility with stunning precision, it is certainly not a bedtime story for every reader. (www.fantagraphics.com/excavation)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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