I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
Black Hand Comics started out on a pretty low note for me and didn't get much better.
I was just thinking about triggers, because the topic came up in conversation, and I was wondering if I would be triggered by things. The more I thought about it the more I was unsure. Trauma triggers are things that would call to mind a traumatic event that has happened to one. I am a lucky person in that I have not encountered much trauma in my life.
The most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me didn't really happen to me. It happened to someone else and I experienced the fallout of it. What could be the trigger that would cause me to re-experience the pain of losing someone in a way where they just disappeared, never to be seen again? For me it usually doesn't take a 'trigger' to get me thinking about regrets and losses, my thoughts turn to memories anytime I'm not focused on something else. Maybe, also because I read, I am being constantly exposed to narratives, stories about other lives that generally aren't all peaches and roses, so I'm used to thinking about difficult experiences, just usually not my own.
The first story in this collection of three macabre tales was called "Gravedigger's Union" and was about what gravediggers really do at night (fight the undead). But, initially the "Carny," the narrator, asks us to think about those we've buried and I felt slapped by the casual way he asks, "maybe a cousin who overdosed?"
Is that what it means to be triggered by something? It triggered a negative response in me, I was thrown off my reading game throughout the rest of the comic. It's not that the art was bad, it was dark with sharp angles to the layout and shapes, which matched the disturbing and off kilter narratives of each of the three stories.
I just was drawn out of the story to those memories.
Of the three stories the Carnival story was the one that most drew me out of my own head and into the story, other than that though, I can't say I was that keen on the book. The other two stories didn't really satisfy my hunger for a narrative.
I don't know. Usually I spend a bit longer with the books I read, I flip through them at least one more time while I gather my thoughts, but I returned this one to the library without a second glance. Maybe it was just the wrong time and the wrong context for me to read this book. Sorry for the long digression, I just can't find words to express my thoughts well this time.