I Wanna Be Literated #182

I Wanna Be Literated #182

Friday, 11 May 2018

Notes on a Case of Melancholia, Or: A Little Death
by Nicholas Gurewitch

When it comes to webcomics it’s hard to find a better equalizer than Nicholas Gurewitch’s Perry Bible Fellowship. I’ve been reading it for more than 10 years and am still genuinely in awe of how this webcomic consistently excels both in its writing and art. Clearly, PBF is the creation of a disturbed mind, and as far as comedy comics are concerned, the current gold standard in my book. Even more impressive is how Gurewitch has laid low (voluntarily or not) for the past several years, almost abandoning his wildly popular webcomic, to focus on an ambitious new project: Notes on a Case of Melancholia. It’s taken years for him to complete it but the results are downright astounding.

Notes on a Case of Melancholia is a short and straightforward story, full of Gurewitch’s twisted sense of humor. It is most definitely a dark book, and for fans, it’s a perfect extension for the dark content you find in his comics. But really, it’s the artwork we should be talking about here. It took Gurewitch years, but he painstakingly carved the artwork of Notes on a Case of Melancholia onto woodblocks. Every page is to be studied to truly get the full effect. The detail is incredible. Although this book deserves a better format of larger and embossed pages (if possible), you can still make out every scratch on each panel. This unusual approach has fantastic results and gives the book a gothic, almost carnal, feel. My wrist started hurting thinking about the hours he spent carving these blocks. Why would anyone do this to themselves?

I’m hoping now that this book is finished, it will mean Gurewitch’s return to PBF full time. But his absence wasn’t for naught. Notes on a Case of Melancholia is truly an impressive book on all levels. Once again, Gurewitch has raised the bar for the medium. Pity the rest of us.

Get your copy here.

More information on the book.

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