by Ray Fawkes
There is a comic book store in the neighborhood of Oakland that is more-or-less the halfway point in my commute to work via bus – in fact I change buses there, with usually about 25 minutes to spare. During these cold winter months I’d rather not languish at a bus stop in the evening, so I often end up in Phantom of the Attic. (This has been somewhat problematic re: the state of my wallet.)
I’ve mostly picked up things I went in looking for, such as Saga and Lumberjanes and Ms. Marvel, but with hundreds of other comics to look at, of course I eventually discovered something on my own.
And Ray Fawkes‘ Intersect is something marvelous. The 3rd issue was on the rack and I was drawn to the artwork instantly. Messy, chaotic watercolors careened across the pages, contained by only the hint of panels. The action looked intense, haunted. The “story so far” blurb sent me running to dig up the first issue.
In the city of Tetrid, a horrifying metamorphosis has taken hold of the people and place. Jason and Ali, once lovers, now share a body, in painful flux from one person to the other. Their friend “the Kid” is emerging backwards from the body of a comatose man. The phenomenon that has swept through the city effects each person differently, turning some into animals or morphing them into inanimate objects. The Kid and Ali are intent on fleeing, but Jason, when he inhabits the body, is pulled to investigate what is happening and why. Meanwhile they are being hunted by a ravenous creature called Lucky, and it’s howls pursue them across the pages.
Issue #1 spits you right into the middle of it all, and you are left scrambling to comprehend what is happening, just like the characters themselves. The artwork is incredibly effective in establishing the mood and setting of the story. They seem like reflections or mirror-caught things, and they tumble and jumble, unsettling, fascinating.
Issues #2 and 3 carry on the strange plummet into the unknown. Ali/Jason and the Kid race through the city, struggling to adapt to whatever is happening to their bodies at the moment, acting on impulses that don’t seem to be their own, hunted by Lucky, and all the time another voice interjects – something that they don’t seem to hear, a part of the narrative that is for the reader and yet is tangled into the phenomenon that is consuming the city. Intersect is kind of a horrible ride, a dizzying, chilling, psychological drama that left me staggering and confused and totally down for more torture. Bring on Issue #4!