May 29, 2015

Looking into the Inscrutable: A review of THE MOTHERLESS OVEN by Rob Davis

Over on Comics Bulletin, Jason Sacks and I peer into THE MOTHERLESS OVEN by Rob Davis, published by SelfMadeHero Books.

This is a truly original graphic novel that raises more questions then it answers and, according to Sacks, may be "purposefully inscrutable".

It's the kind of book that leads me to write things like:
"Once could say that this is Davis commenting on how, in our world, the breakdown of the family, the drive for standardization of public education, the militarization of our police force, and the consumerism of our news have all contributed to a disillusioned youth culture that needs an even stronger authoritarian hand to keep it from spiraling into anarchy (thus perpetuating the cycle and feeding itself its own tail). I think there is plenty in this book to make this sort of political argument, but I’d rather not distort this book through a singular critical lens.
The argument could also be made that Davis is pushing the edges of an existential theme. The inhabitants of this world are creators of their self, yet they operate in a world where their lives are proscribed, they know when they are to die, and are then expected to still be productive members of the social order. This strikes me as the ultimate fermentation formula for ennui. And yet, it takes the brave individual to see through the situation, react, and escape."

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