Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Aspyrus - Appupen

Aspyrus is Appupen's third graphic novel (I think) after 'Moonward' and 'The Legends of Halahala'. Aspyrus is about our aspirations. They enter our head quietly, floating through the air, mostly someone else's, and settle down there like it is our own. Once the dream or aspiration settles down there, it's like we are on a fast-moving treadmill (I was never on one for exercise purposes so don't know how it feels) from which one cannot get off.

The dreams and aspirations of Halahala come in the form of a cute little dinosaur-type of thing that flits here and there and enters the head of a Dreamer who promptly sells the idea to everyone around. It's nice and everyone feels good but soon the dream becomes much bigger than they can handle. Soon everyone is taking credit for it. The dream is hijacked and becomes uncontrollable.
In Act II we get a Tarzan like novice who somehow comes to the edge of the city and the dream reaches out to him and draws him in. He joins the treadmill race and wears himself out trying to go from one dream to another - one ad to another. He sees an angel and runs after her - needs her. He cannot. He ends up with all the trappings of success. He is now part of those people who is encouraging others to chase these dreams. Then he kills it. Tries to.
In Act III we have a super girl called Underwoman who hates the dream and tries to kill it. The end we will leave for you to find out.

Capitalism, money, consumers - even the word responsible consumption which comes up in the book - show a serious lack of imagination from the consumers. From the producers and the controllers it shows a lack of soul, of greed. Clearly one cannot exist without the other but seriously - does this guy hovering around survival stand a chance? The kid who wants to eat a pizza or a KFC does it simply because they have been led to believe it's cool. They have no sense of discretion. So it makes sense for the producers to encourage this behavior, to not let them think rationally. One way or another - it all leads up to the power to control the consumers. If you have done that, you have made it.

Appupen makes a case against this world of exploitation under the guise of free will. Once you plant an idea insidiously, you can get them to do anything. People stop thinking and work themselves to death. The art work is layered and I discover new ideas each time I look at it. There is very little text - he calls it a silent novel. The story is dark, dystopian and real. It's a book one must read again and again to get the full extent of his layered thought. Well done George. Loved it.

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