Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Experts

The Experts is a short, bizarre comic by Sophie Franz on Retrofit Comics.  Cheron, Traci, and Frankie, along with a dog named the Colonel, are the experts, three researchers who don't remember what they're researching and don't even remember what their skills are.  They're on a floating house surrounded by aquatic people who might even be former researchers, themselves.  Frankie has the head of a fish, and Cheron has a finger that's growing back differently after being bitten off by one of the aquatic people.

A lot of the comics I read, I also lend to my father and stepmother to read.  My stepmother tends to read everything at a surface level the first time around, and she often picks up things that I miss (I recently reviewed Drawn Onward by Matt Madden without realizing that the title is a palindrome).  My father, on the other hand, sometimes looks too hard for metaphors.  I'm the most visual of the three, and I'm haunted by images and quotations, such as the improbably dilated eye of the Colonel, how fish-like he looks.  "Everything is coming apart at the seams," says Traci after Cheron's disappearance.  Frankie escapes, suddenly becoming less fish-like, but Traci stays for some reason.

The three of them are in a hopeless situation, and the solution seems to be either to leave and get better or stay and get worse.  I can only wonder whether Franz was in a similar situation at some point in her life and if she's trying to convey that sort of hopelessness onto her readers.  Either way, I'm hooked on Retrofit comics.  I've ordered their entire 2015 and 2016 catalogs.

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