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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Reader's Diary #1817- Christopher Dominic Peloso: Tiny Ghosts Suicide is the Highest Form of Art

In the forward to Tiny Ghosts: Suicide is the Highest Form of Art, Christopher Dominic Peloso writes that Tiny Ghosts is "not really a comic." Just three sentences later he writes, "the comics tend to skew toward the creepy and supernatural."

But I see where his classification issue arises. Though Tiny Ghosts fits many accepted definitions of comics as art arranged sequentially in order to convey information, it is still rather unfamiliar to most people's schema of comics. For one, it's photos. For another, each story is just two photos long. And perhaps the biggest issue of all is the position of the text. We've become so used to speech balloons that when there aren't any, the comics seem strange. Even stranger when there is still text but it all falls beneath the photos, coming across more like a child's picture book than comics as we usually think of them.

The lack of clarity on the classification isn't the only interesting side to Peloso's project. While photocomics are rare, micro-fiction is nearly as uncommon, and this project started as a collection of two sentence stories that originally had no visual component. Photos were added after the fact in an effort to get more readers interested. Though more than just an after thought, he states that he tried to not just do a literal retelling. Sometimes the pictures, for example, presented an unexpected character or setting.

Of course, experiments and intentions are all good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it works. Fortunately, I'd say that overall I enjoyed the collection. As with any anthology of short stories, I had my favourites and ones I didn't particularly care for, but by and large, I found it to be a good mix of funny, thoughtful, somewhat dark tales.


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