My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I found this one at the library and since I’m a fan of Dave McKean’s art I picked it up. it’s part of a first world war centenary project, 14-18 Now. I know a fair amount of artists but Paul Nash is new to me (which seems to be a large oversight on my part). He was a war artist who went on to be a big deal in England.
In this graphic novel, McKean (and the committee who hired him) wanted to capture Nash’s pain and angst. One assumes that he had his fair share of PSTD. The art in this is absolutely ugly. It’s disturbing, disquieting and it’s supposed to be. McKean can do beautiful work. This is so rough and ugly, filled with muddy browns, evoking the trenches of the war, the bleakness of depression and the strangeness of dreams (harking back to the title).
I wasn’t clear if the dreams and dialogue were entirely fictional or if it came from Nash’s writings or both. Hidden in the back info there is a mention of Nash’s writings as inspiration. Either way it’s interesting stuff. I like how the Black Dog is worked into every dream. I’m also impressed that they wanted to use this medium as part of the project. It’s an important project ad I was glad to see this piece of it.
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