Review: Breaking Is Opening by Sab Meynert
Sab Meynert sent over a copy of Breaking Is Opening earlier this year, and I’ve been so in awe of
this book I’ve been putting off a review, trying desperately, foolishly, to
come up with the perfect things to say. But I’m coming to terms with my
procrastination this week, knowing that waiting for the perfect moment means
doing nothing, maybe ever, and that’s an outcome that is untenable.
Breaking Is Opening
is a beautiful 16 page book, orange risograph innards with a fuchsia to black
gradient silkscreened cover. Throughout, images of luxuriant plant life whip,
crawl, and blow across the page, while small pieces of text stand, mantra-like,
in stark contrast. The text of Breaking
Is Opening has a distinct poetic cadence, and it would not be too far a
stretch to call Breaking Is Opening a
work of comics poetry. Each page is so full of emotion and movement; each image
is a bursting heart, a cacophony, a teeming abundance.
Meynert’s swirling vines, leaves, and flowers are a reminder
of the cyclical nature of life, and how humanity, despite its constant attempts
to free itself from the natural world, is an inheritor of what comes before. In
the wake of the transcending, coiling snake of some of Meynert’s pages,
structure is dissipated in a wave of leaves and wind. There is also a sense of
connectivity here too, as organic materials meld and weave seamlessly with the
constructed and artificial.
But the key to the book is Meynert’s title, and the book is a
response to brokenheartedness. Breaking
is Opening is as reminder that, despite whatever happens, new things are in
store, that we are all grounded and freed in love. A broken robin’s egg is at
the bottom of a teardrop is the most direct metaphor in the theme, but more
subtle emphasis exists throughout the book, often presenting in complex layers.
Breaking Is Opening is a bracer, a
reminder. Remember that first time you fell in love? How it felt like an abyss
but also the first sip of hot chocolate, filling your body with warmth? That is
Breaking Is Opening.
Images of the book via Sab Meynert’s storenvy.
Sab Meynert (tumblr: @sabmeynert) is an artist based
in Toronto, ON. Meynert’s new book, Sprawling
Heart, is coming out from @2dcloud in the Fall. I can’t wait. In the meantime, you can buy art and comics from Meynert here.