104. BRICKBRICKBRICK (Mark Laliberte)

[I'm actually up to book 124 right now — beating last year's 119. So my reviews will be short, because I'm pressed for time these days, but want to catch up on my posting.]

In BRICKBRICKBRICK, Mark Laliberte reproduces bricks drawn in panel backgrounds by various comic artists: Schulz, McKean, Mignola, Gorey, etc. Each set of bricks is contained within an identical square panel and titled simply with the artist's name. The samples are arranged loosely according to their aesthetic similarities.

The concept is simple, the completed text stunning. The book can be read as concrete poetry with conceptual undertones. But in offering a cross-section of this “throwaway” background detail produced by various artists, Laliberte not only uncovers their meticulous craftsmanship (in case any still doubt the artistic value of “comic books”). The book also becomes a metaphor for the artistic process itself — smashing your face against a brick wall, page after page, to produce work that goes largely unnoticed, but which gives itself over to rare, attentive readers like Laliberte.

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