Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Bookmark this: Night Physics

First things first: I don't know who is the author of this wonderful comic; the Tumblr theme is confusing (to me, at least) and I can't seem to find a credit, or 'about' page anywhere. If you do know, or are the artist of this amazing work, please get in touch and I will of course, happily name you. Going from the information on the Tumblr, Night Physics launched in January this year, updating 2 or 3 times a month- the updates are usually pretty lengthy and satisfying. It's a bit of a slow burner; 6 months in and only the very beginnings of a scenario are present with no indication of where it may be headed,  but what's there is supremely interesting.

It has a fantastic opening: a nose-ringed writer bear- Austin- banging out an essay (screed) on Charles Bukowski, his thoughts about his break-up with his boyfriend, and his fear of being alone slowly pushing out everything else. Austin is visited by his friend, Hoyt the bull, who has also recently broken up with his girlfriend and comes prepped with a bag of strange crystal/salt-salt like drugs for them to test out, with the narrative then branching out into the inside of Austin and Hoyt's 'trips' respectively. that may sound like so far, so standard, but the characters are so well fleshed out- Hoyt's trip parades before him all the people in his life, expressing their disappointment and feelings in various ways, where Austin is busy exploring a mythic Mignola-esqe universe- that the sense you get is one of amusement and a sympathy. Night Physics looks like an absolute dream- sublimely coloured in hues of pink, red and purple for the most part, but the trip sequences are something else to behold- kinetic, majestically lit and boldly drawn, with a lovely use of silhouetting blacks.

Although so far, Night Physics has focused mainly on Austin and Hoyt, and Alice to a lesser degree- we're introduced to a series of character via strips titled 'What do you dream about?' which presents the cast documentary style facing the reader, allowing them to unfurl their personalities via both their responses and their appearance/stance/clothing. I'm always intrigued by anthropomorphic designs and love the way it's been incorporated here- the attention to detail, especially hair- it's rare that anthropomorphic characters are given great thick thatches of hair and there's a nice usage of beards. I like the fashion too, and how it plays into what you read bout each character. It's a genuinely superior comic- smart- and it feels different, fun, caustic, raw in places where the emotion (the way it undergoes tonal shifts is so good) seems palpable- despite the deceptive opening 'bros hanging out doing drugs' narrative- with superb art, and one you should go read now and then immediately follow.

UPDATE: Night Physics is the creation of Australian artist, Austin Holcomb. Thanks to Starpaw for the information.