‘Mycelium Seep’ issue 3.
Created by Nir Levie.
Translated by Dekel Oved.
Published by Markosia Comics - 117 pages - Black and White interiors.
The Story - What follows is the story according to the creator’s website. Make of it what you will. This world is not normal...
‘Khalek is a teenage boy who lives in an underground city, the denizens of which manufacture their food from roots that penetrate downwards from above ground. When he discovers a disease inflicting their main food source a series of events leads to the merging of his mind with that of Laura - A vehicle designer from present day earth.
The population in Khalek's world are barred from visiting the planet's surface, which is controlled by a xenophobic race of humanoids. The humanoids communicate amongst themselves non-verbally and are constantly moving from place to place, using their legs as their only means of transportation. Khalek and Laura's newly merged consciousness embarks on a journey to understand the interrelation of their respective worlds during which they find themselves attempting to communicate with the Humanoids in order to stop the disease decimating Khalek's world.
Mycelium Seep is a science fiction story that deals with questions arising from the implementation of new technology- Is it possible to curb the rise of technology when it seems to lead down a dangerous path? A critical stance is taken regarding transportation, focusing on personal motorized vehicles.’
Review - Anyone who knows me will realise that this is the sort of book that I find a visual challenge and one that I relish whether I totally understand it’s madness or not. At 117 pages this is a long form conundrum. It has a biological/biomechanical psychotic mysticism that is unlike anything else you’ll experience any time soon and manages to intertwine both literally and metaphorically the spaces around us and taps into and manipulates us in our own personal nightmares.
This graphic novel presents a creeping unreality that makes me unsure of what is true and what is false in it’s narrative and beyond. There is so much going on in the insanity of crossed and confused dimensional jumps and the insecurity of a very particular dreamlike sense of existence.
The books shifts attitudes and approaches. Much is told in a point of view style that has the reader watch and sense the action. You participate in the story. You ride a bike, walk down corridors, open windows, traverse the landscapes and kidnap the victim. These movements are overlaid with floor layouts that seem like something from a technical drawing class but give you the sense that you are sitting behind the eyes of a black and white paper (digital guided view) version of a video game.
The story makes great use of the loneliness of the white space and you at moments feel lost in that emptiness before the creator dumps you into an imagined alien landscape so peculiar it will make you dizzy with it’s sudden appearance. There are also pages of stream of consciousness writing and also pages made up of an alien imagined language.
There is a strange roughness to the line work that is not always perfect but builds to a grotesque complication of reality and unreality. I find the quick swipe of the page to have an addiction to the movement that drives me on to discover where this will all end. As we walk in the footsteps of these repugnant and strange characters you are distanced from the banality of our real world and instead inhabit the disquieting effects as a reader/observer/participant.
This book defies a review that is anything other than an attempt at interpreting what effect it has had on the individual reader.
As you ingest this comic your eyes are opened to the layers of this chaotic and organic environment. Your mental/dimensional/sane state of mind shifts and morphs.
Reach out and touch the unsettling square body orifices!
We all become part of this biological machine attaching, penetrating, fighting, conquering, learning and at the same time I am in a state of utter confusion. A sinister tale for the urban age.
You and I are no wiser but it is an experience, what more can you hope for.
You can find this creator and other examples of his work here https://www.nirlevie.com
You can visit the publisher at https://markosia.com
Many thanks for reading.