Review: mini
kuš! #30 – Logbook, by Terhi Ekebom

Finnish
cartoonist Terhi Ekebom is one of the latest artists to work with Kuš komiksi’s mini kuš! project, each artist delivering a full
color 4”x6” minicomic that clocks in at 24 pages. Ekebom’s comic is a somber
and eerie vision of death and remembering.

Within Logbook,
two nameless characters attempt to bring light to a third character whose head
and then body has been progressively swallowed up by darkness. The characters
live in a house in the middle of a placid body of water, away from everything
else. To help try to cure the darkness, one of the characters rows out into the
water on a boat to collect sacs of glowing bulbous orbs of white light that
surface from the bottom of the water. But the effect of the orbs, isn’t what
they hope, and the book ends on a harsh, distant note.

In Logbook, Ekebom is playing with the
concepts of death as darkness; we see a character swallowed up by it, their
head and face disappeared by blackness. In the darkness of forgetting, we lose
our loved ones as people. Catalogs of memories get winnowed down to still
images over time. Ekebom’s orbs of light are a metaphor of remembering, trying
to bring specific memories forward that encapsulate the person gone, find their
face again in the darkness. But the memories don’t bring the dead back to life,
and neither do the orbs in Logbook.

There’s also a
sense of isolation in Logbook – all three
characters are completely separated from the rest of the world on this seemingly endless body of water. I think that’s
a keen observation into the nature of mourning, where the grieving are often separated
from the outside world by barriers that they create, intentionally or not.

Ekebom’s coloring
is light and melancholy, with a palette that is somewhat washed out by the
colored pencils used to create the images. One of the more interesting aspects
of the comic’s design is the use of circular panels, similar in shape to the
orbs of memory and the sacs that contain them in the book. It’s a smart choice
that ties the book together thematically.

Ekebom leaves
the reader at the end of Logbook
making a sharp observation about the nature of grief; it is easy to be subsumed
by it, controlled by it, even broken by it. In showing two characters, whose differing
approach to the grieving process has a remarkable impact on their outcomes at
the end of the book, Ekebom reminds readers of that destructive nature of
grief.  

—-

Terhi Ekebom is
an illustrator, graphic designer, and cartoonist from Helsinki. Ekebom’s work
has been published by NAPA Books and Asema. You can see more of Ekebom’s work
at this website.

Kuš
komiksi (tumblr: @kushkomikss ) is a
Latvian comics publisher that in addition to its kuš and mini kuš comics has a
goal to promote and develop comics culture in Latvia and feature Latvian
cartoonists. You can see more of their books and buy a half-year subscription to their titles at their website.

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