OBSERVATIONS by Brandon J.  Lund

OBSERVATIONS

Book, Essay, and Material from Various Works
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lund presents a collection of essays and other short writings.

This compilation kicks off with a review of a 2015 exhibit at Los Angeles’ California Science Center that featured the Dead Sea Scrolls. The author describes the scrolls’ presence as “ghostly,” and the tour as brief, but notes that the experience was still worth the trip. A bit later, the work presents a no-frills description of a Rose Bowl football game (“Eventually, Georgia defeated Oklahoma in double overtime, (54-48)”) and then offers original poetry, which is sometimes startling (“Breakfast / Sits / Like a pine cone / In my ass”), and other times grandiose (“My greatness will be realized despite my mortal cage!”). Not long after an academic essay on Geoffrey Chaucer comes the hardiest fare in the collection—a journal. In brief entries, the author describes his creation of independent comic books over the course of a few years. The journal will provide plenty of tips to the uninitiated, such as the importance of having promotional items at the Alternative Pres Expo in San Francisco. The collection’s final pages offer a short, oddly violent screenplay, featuring characters with names such as “Rock-Head” and “Knuckles Tony”; at one point, a young, female character is described as “Very pretty, but not astonishing.” This book, as its subtitle indicates, encompasses a multitude of odds and ends, which function more as a portrait of their creator than any kind of cohesive narrative. Readers don’t get very many details about what it’s like to live in LA, enjoy the occasional museum visit, and try to make it in the comic book business. However, altogether, the book offers an intimate and inviting précis of the artist himself. That said, certain portions are unhelpfully obtuse; for example, regarding a display of William Shakespeare’s folios, the author vaguely and confusingly observes that “Genius pokes holes in hubris and casts light while many people struggle with their endeavors in the arts.”

An uneven but often intriguing look at a modern creative artist.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64426-553-6
Page count: 140pp
Publisher: Rosedog Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
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