Farel Dalrymple’s Delusional, published by AdHouse Books, culls roughly 10 years of the author’s comix and drawings. The subject matter is simultaneously exhilarating and harrowing, offering a glimpse of a world both archaic and futuristic.
Mr. Dalrymple’s wheelhouse seems to be an exploration of the everyday from the perspective of pre-adolescent youth. The children who inhabit his world navigate rights-of-passage in the guise of apparently mundane situations. In most scenarios the kids are boosted with the aid of magic (in the stories of Em, Gwen and Clem) or future-past technology (an airship from the reprints of Mr. Dalrymple’s Supermundane strips) or superhuman strength (any story starring “Hollis, the Awesomest Super Guy”). What is perceived as a technological or superhuman advantage turns out to be merely another problem for the characters to contend with in their already complicated lives.
Delusional contains a balance of exceptional b&w and color strips. The comix are tight and effective in b&w, and the artist’s ideas really soar in the many water-colored stories. A multitude of dark and striking sketches, posters and pin-ups flesh out the remainder of the book, with the same imagination and quality found in the narrative art. Publisher/designer Chris Pitzer and Mr. Dalrymple have effectively created an overall look and pace for Delusional so that the anthology feels like one continuous work.
Dalrymple includes an index citing where the art has originally seen print or light, along with a short exposition on the genesis of each piece. The content may hail from a dozen sources, and from almost as many years, yet it is so cohesive as a tome that serves as an absolute testament to the artist’s distinctive vision.
Review by Gregory Benton
Delusional by Farel Dalrymple
232 4C & 1C pages
6 ” x 9 ” HC
$24.95 US funds
Shipping September 2013
Diamond Order Code: JUL13 0741