I love the work of Ottawa-based artist Michael DeForge and have shown some of his work on this blog before. Today I have caught up on his project Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero, which tells the story of the eponymous protagonist, “Former: Olympian, poet, scholar…monty, columnist, libertarian, cellist” who has shunned celebrity and society for a life of isolation among oddball flora and fauna of Monterey National Park. It is a joy to see Mr DeForge’s character design featured in the black-white-and-pink-all-over world of Sticks Angelica, and to see him creating another surreally self-contained world (his Ant Comic has been one of my favorites and was recently released as a book from Drawn & Quarterly) that maintains an idiosyncratic view towards relationships, self-exploration, conversation – the whole world really. It would be easy enough to view the whole world of Sticks Angelica as some sort of loneliness as craziness fever-dream, but that sucks a lot of the fun out of it. Instead, Mr DeForge’s writing operates as commentary on how we humans treat ourselves and one another, allowing the touching moments to resonate as much as the many humorous ones. This comic is just as much fun if you just want to turn your brain off and look at some wacky drawings, but the premise offers a take on the affluent hipster dream of living a life off-the-grid that cannot be denied and is worth appreciating.
The comic hasn’t had an update since last December, but there are a lot of unfinished sub-stories so I am hoping its creator has just been busy on other projects. Read the whole comic here (though if you feel overwhelmed by that much visual information you can read it with a lot more clicking starting here). It takes about fifteen minutes to read so make some time if it sounds up your alley and please enjoy.