Miscellanea and Ephemeron
09/25/2005 Archived Entry: "Graphic novel review: Indigo Animal vol 1 and 2"
Indigo Animal and Indigo Animal and the Lawn Statuary Institute
Review by Ginger Mayerson
I started reading Indigo Animal in the Issue 2 of "The Secret Alameda" which was one of the coolest Dada-esque magazines ever. At first the strip didn't have a strong narrative, but over the years it developed one on Indigo's interest in lawn statuary and subsequent enrollment in the Lawn Statuary Institute. The strip is ongoing in "Works + Conversations," but it's so nice to have them all, plus a few more in two books: "Indigo Animal" and "Indigo Animal and the Lawn Statuary Institute."
The creator, Rue Harrison, does a much better job than I could do explaining the strip in her interview with "Works + Conversations," reprinted at J LHLS.
I've always been a big Indigo fan, because the strip explores the idea of how we use our time, and by extension, how we use our consciousness. Indigo is an animal drifting through a mundane life, watching gold on TV, for God's sake, when one day s/he (gender is never clear in the strip) notices the beauty of a piece of lawn statuary and becomes intrigued by the whole subject of lawn statuary. What's interesting is not so much what wakes Indigo up, but how she proceeds from that. Where nothing had been interesting, suddenly everything is, but she focuses on lawn statuary, so not to lose the passion of this new line of study. Serendipitously, Indigo discovers the Lawn Statuary Institute, thus affirming that once the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This is most of the plot of Indigo volume 1, in volume 2, Indigo explores the Lawn Statuary Institute, where s/he makes a friend and an adversary over the merits of classical lawn statuary.
This strip reminds me a little of Krazy Kat. Although less wacky and episodic, Indigo Animal has the same deceptive depth and profundity of the doings in Kokonino County. Definitely a find... once you, um, find it.
For more information and sample pages, see IndioAnimal.com. Indigo Animal books can be ordered like this: "Indigo Animal" is $9.95 and "Indigo Animal and the Lawn Statuary Research Institute" is $12.95. Add 8.25% sales tax for delivery in California (so that would be $10.78 and $14.02 respectively, Californians). Priority Mail rate is $3.85 for up to three books; Book Rate is $1.50 for the first book and 50 cents for each additional; First Class is $3.00 per book. Make checks payable to Rue Harrison Whittaker and mail to Porch Lion Press, PO Box 5008, Berkeley CA 94705. For more information, contact the publisher at [email protected] or call works + conversations at 510-653-1146. And, yes, you can contact them through J LHLS if you are so inclined. We're always happy to forward emails.
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