Derek Van Gieson’s Eel Mansions is the journal entry you feverishly write down upon awakening from dreams that seemingly border between the three point intersection of nightmarish moments filled with spittle-dripping demons, your most turgid and undulating dance party romances, and the ones where you’re sharing a delicious sandwich with Edvard Munch in a dive bar along the Akerselven. It’s a series that is reminiscent of the hell-gate Porter at Inverness Castle who tells you about drink and lechery, it makes you stand to and not stand to, all accompanied by The Hit Pack singing “Never Say No To My Baby”. It is collision. It is unfathomable. It is the Eggman and the Walrus. And it is you as much as it is me. Koo-koo-kachoo.
2014 marked the end of this initial six issue series salvo, and Van Gieson concluded it with beginnings, possibilities, left-turns, right-turns, and, above all else, a kiss. He’s an artist who, with his creation, masters the art of equivocation and goes thick groove whirling down the primrose path to the everlasting bonfire while sticking his thumbs under his overalls with the confidence of the man winking in the dark. Here, it is the creator who commands the landing, and you approach it understanding that without faith there is no real art. Eel Mansions is that trust exercise waiting to catch you as you fall. It may not be gentle, but you’ll be safe in its arms.