|Oliver - Anna & Eva|
A lorn circus family, assailed angels and floating boys. The characters inhabiting Jennifer Daydreamer's numinous otherworld are less a contemporary creation than the contents of a forgotten treasure box. Encephalon, a place of separate realities and mythic tendrils, is first introduced in Oliver where the rise is explained by a fabled tussle between costumed children. Oliver, a young boy fitted with horns, comes upon a crumpled angel in the field. The resulting scrap is creation mystique, realizing a shadowy, connected perception. Elsewhere school-age Max invokes astral travel, rising high above his sleeping form to join an imagined, entreating menagerie. Daydreamer's adeptness at conveying a fluent, ethereal consciousness is not simply a matter of style. Encephalon, with its striped circus canopies and line-drawn dreams, is a latent albeit artful attempt at understanding the nature of thought and the looping grayness that can consume another's identity. The troupe of nattering Flower Men who besiege Jack are a lucid, fertile realm for disassembling mental illness. Thoughts sprout and weave, pummeling and baiting each other unheeded by the host's direction. Manic, cranky and amok. This is how it begins and this is what it feels like. High on the hill, the angel and devil continue to wrestle.
Anna & Eva is the second book in the Jennifer Daydreamer series. Whereas Oliver was a formative allegory, Anna & Eva is a linear, equally imaginative Encephalon tale. Circus Zazel is a melancholy remnant of a blithe founder who refused to abandon his candied dream. Mary Pettibone is well-heeled and does not share her husband Sam's fanciful vision so she leaves. Once bored, Sam also withdraws, leaving his twin daughters Anna and Eva to manage the circus. The untimely death of one twin leaves the other distraught and searching. Anna, the remaining sister, immerses herself in ancient conjurers, candles and meditation in an effort to feel Eva once more. Anna & Eva share much of the same periphery introduced in Daydreamer's first book: symbolism, existential glancing and alternate dimensions. A lyrical interstice between real and imagined, Jennifer Daydreamer is a distinctive addition not only to comics but aerial storytelling as a whole.
- Jennifer Przybylski | 2004-06-26