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Six Treasures of the Spiral: Comics Formed Under Pressure by Matt Madden

Six Treasures of the Spiral: Comics Formed Under Pressure by Matt Madden

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An author struggles to understand an encounter on the subway that has led her to romantic despair. Six characters embark on a dangerous voyage, searching for a mysterious treasure. A cartoon character finds himself in bizarre yet uncannily familiar scenarios. Three characters obsess over the same image and sense that their lives connect across generations. Novelistic worlds in miniature. Hilarious hijinks. The occasional twist ending… The stories in Six Treasures of the Spiral: Comics Formed Under Pressure are inventive and wide-ranging, sometimes funny, occasionally sad, and always offbeat. The New York Times called Matt Madden a "stuntman-philosopher" because he creates comics in the crucible of formal constraints ― one comic is a visual palindrome, another maps on to the letters of the alphabet, several follow the rules of demanding poetic forms like the villanelle and the haiku. It may seem that strict limitation would stymie creativity; on the contrary, the massive pressure it exerts on the author's process bonds atoms of text and image together into comic diamonds that Booklist has called "formally rigorous and narratively lucid." Madden is an educator and evangelist for experimental comics. This book contains an extensive afterword that walks through all the game-like rules he used in the stories in this collection. He offers insights into how he turned the shackles of these complex constraints into a source of inspiration and ingenuity. If you want to explore new creative challenges, you'll leave this book eager to work on forging your narrative jewels.

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