Many panels: Horror Vacui

Ever since I came across his work in Instant Piano in the mid-90s, I’ve had a sweet spot for the frantic, neurotic narrative style used by Evan Dorkin, a style that is only matched by his frenetic tendency to fill the page to the brim with art.

The best example of this, is the strip, Rock Paper Scissors from the eighth issue of Dorkin’s solo comic, Dork. In a single page, with no less than twenty eight panels, he manages to have a simple game escalate to chemical warfare. Call it a metaphor, if you will, but it is first and foremost a telling illustration of Dorkin’s neurotic and pessimistic view on things. Combined with an art style that runs the gamut from sickly sweet to almost acidic, that’s a winner in my book.

In a similar fashion, Dorkin crams his pages regularly in the ongoing series Fun, that ran as a regular feature in Dork. As a twisted and nihilistic parody on the typically sedate newspaper comic page, a typical Fun page consists of no less than six strips, each with four panels, an intro and a payoff doused in pop references, cynicism and despair.

Some more examples? Here are four more pages from various issues of Dork, including an intro page, two typical rants and Fun pages and a hilarious fragment from what I consider to be Dorkin’s best work, The Eltingville Club (see also earlier).

(Dork © Evan Dorkin — collections of both Dork and The Eltingville Club were published by Dark Horse and are widely available as hard covers and e-books) 

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