With “Genesis” Nathan Edmonson and Alison Sampson craft an extended tale of ultimate creation. A man is granted with the ability to will anything he can think of into existence. This book is trippy. It will warp your mind by taking you on a journey of ultimate expression. This liberating ability should bring ultimate fulfillment and gratification. Yet, through a deeply emotional look at the process of creation comes the emptiness of the action, and musings on what we could of done or should of done with our lives.
ART BY: Alison Sampson
RELEASE: April16, 2014
Adam is a man who has grown tired with his life. He has given himself to a higher power and still feels wildly unfulfilled. After making an attempt on his life he discovers he can create anything, and shape reality as he see’s fit. This power is seemingly benevolent, but the act of creation goes hand in hand with the act of destruction.
The narrative of “Genesis” may ultimately mean different things for different people. I was lucky enough to speak with Nathan Edmonson about the book last month, and he was very candid about what parts of him were in the book. He had hoped there was nothing of him here, while conversely artist Alison Sampson leaves everything on the page.
This interesting dichotomy almost defines the book in and of itself. The act of ultimate creation may mean everything to someone or nothing to another person. Being able to create infinite worlds almost takes away from the beauty of something with confines, something within a space. Whereas Sampson’s art defies the confines of the page, natural space and architecture are seemingly expanded with every successive panel.
As Adam listlessly drifts through his new life the book takes on an increasingly somber tone. It’s unclear what this is supposed to mean to him, or what it means to us. His raw power disrupts the fine balancing act that brings form to the universe and allows Sampson to alter reality as she sees fit. Often pages are completely torn asunder with incredibly vivid and imaginative spins on reality, be it whirling vortexes, or mountainous coils of debris made to look like buildings or winding paths.
The narrative deals with existential doubt in a bold and provocative way that isn’t concerned with giving answers. Instead the readers are left to make their own conclusions about the process on the page. Is Adam’s power a gift or a curse? Has he already died, or has he brought on the end of existence for everyone else. There is absolutely no clarity surrounding those issues, but the questions are the strength of the piece.
The art of creation is something creatives struggle with on a daily basis. What is too much, what is too little, and what will find it’s audience. “Genesis” takes the insecurity around those issues and blows it up to monumental proportions. It’s a dense and layered one shot that challenges you to ask questions, while treating your eyes to a feast of wild and imaginative design.
Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls.