Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes
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An experimental collection of art, humour and philosophy, Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes takes up where the artist’s first volume, Monologues for the Coming Plague, left off. Like Coming Plague, the Black Holes is a creatively experimental laboratory, comprising a collection of free flowing stream of consciousness gags, strips, and drawings that slowly coalesce into an unexpectedly compelling and complex narrative.
The hints of story that came together in Monologues for The Coming Plague are extrapolated and expanded upon and grow to incorporate some of Nilsen’s other outré strips from the anthology Mome, two of which are reprinted here in expanded form. The book is an audacious investigation into the rhythms of storytelling, the blurring of media, and an exercise in reconciling contrasts. It is playful, provocative and serious all at once — another tour de force by Anders Nilsen, impeccably and uniquely designed, in black and white and colour.
What Pedro Vieira de Moura on Le BD wrote about Nilsen’s Coming Plague could apply equally to The Density of Black Holes: “What looks like last minute thoughts or doodles are actually something extremely pure... Monologues’ first half feels like a successful game of Tetris: each page is like a new ‘brick,’ which adds a new element of significance to the whole, and after a while we realize a whole new layer of meaning that changes everything we had learned up to that point.”
Fantagraphics, paperback, 400 pages, published January 2009
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