May 09, 2006

A Passion for Deduction

circ.pngMany webcomics are fun, or tell great stories or contain good art. But how many deals with the issues of reverse look-up of 70's library records, how to calculate remaining oxygen using a watch and an origami cube or to deduce destinations of bus passengers?

Shigabooks, the comics by jason Shiga, contain all that. If there is one unifying theme it is a love for deduction, to take the minutiae of everyday life and find the underlying secret order.

My absolute favorite is "Fleep", a ruthlessly logical story about survival in a phonebox encased in concrete. There is surprisingly much to be done and discovered within the confined space (with 2 ballpoint pens, 20 ft of dental floss, a digital wrist watch, a Russian paperback, 3 coins and a handwritten note).

"Bookhunter" deals with the library police hunting down book stealers, a mixture of Dragnet and CSI set in a world of index cards and glue qualities. It has a wonderful 70's library feel of brown and thick paper. "Meanwhile" is a McCloudesque experiment, part nonlinear narrative, part puzzle.

I feel a strong resonance with this appreciation of the minutiae of the world. Every object can be examined and give clues, or turned into a tool of investigation. With a well-stocked mind one is never helpless... unless it involves using game theory to decide whether to watch movies.

Posted by Anders3 at May 9, 2006 08:12 PM