by Dave McKean
It's hard to know what to say about Cages. First of all, it's a beautiful book -- McKean is an amazing artist. He uses a variety of techniques to convey different moods and visual effects. Second, it's strange and allegorical; this isn't a common mode of storytelling in a graphic novel. While reading it I often felt like I was reading Dostoevsky, Camus, Marquez, or some other foreign author who hides a lot beneath the surface of the text. Third, I would recommend that anyone who enjoys good graphic novels beg, borrow, or steal a copy of Cages; it's probably one of the 25 best comics I've read. (Be sure to get the hardcover; it's a massive 500-page collection of all 10 issues.)
Although Cages is superficially about an odd collection of people living in an apartment building, it's really about creativity. I'll probably have to read it at least once more before I can say more.
copyright © 2000 John Regehr