Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Here by Richard McGuire

Fifteen years in the making, the graphic novel Here is unlike anything I've ever read.

After hearing tales from people who've been watching this masterpiece unfold through RAW magazine, I'm jealous that I only discovered it in its more complete form.

It's somewhat difficult to describe, and at first you might think to yourself "What is this thing?" Especially if you're like me and used to a more conventional graphic novel format.

Fixed on one viewpoint, in a corner of a room, Here depicts what has happened in that little corner throughout the ages. On one page we might see 1957, surrounding it we might see 1893, then on the next panel we might see 300,000,000 BCE.

Confused? Don't be, once you get into it, you will be hooked.
Here breaks all the boundaries previously set by the graphic novel format. We see the universe unfold around us while in the middle, people are stubbing their toes, having their first kiss or looking for their lost wallet.
All in different years, all collected in one little space.
We find out that the little corner where people celebrated birthdays was once a First Nations burial ground, a place where Ben Franklin rode a horse and carriage to visit the house nearby, where people dressed up in silly costumes for Halloween.
Chillingly, the panels jump to the future, in the late 2000s the space is completely under water. Even later, platforms are built so futuristic tour guides can explain to people via holograms how people used to carry little pouches in their pockets made from animal skins to hold their valuable information.
And so on. Here is more an art piece than anything else in my opinion, but it is mind blowing, and it will change the genre for the better. Many themes lie under the pages, love, loss, death, loneliness, depression, isolation, all occurring under one heartbeat throughout millions of years.
Here will be one of those books I won't shut up about, which is a good thing. It will stay with you long after immersing yourself in it, trust me, check it out.

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