Creator: Con Chrisoulis
Independently published, August 2020
MINIATURIZED REPRESENTATIVE ART in painting and figures, often fashioned in jewelry and worn as a talisman, at times achieves an incredible veracity to detail to portray the likeness of the original subject, like a tiny ship in a bottle. This is the perfect effect in the graphic panels and bullet points arranged by creator Con Chrisoulis in his 36-page first chapter of REBEL REBEL, a graphic biography of David Bowie, illustrated with a strong palette of gray rimmed with white shadows and black highlights that make each picture submerge into a separate dimension, where real people once experienced the features of the scene, and heard the rumble of time under the surface pressing them together.
This history of David Bowie somehow speaks in a way history rarely does. The quality of the illustration is attractive, detailed yet cartoonish, stretched into one, two, three or four panels per page, thrumming a beat forward. The accompanying bullet points possess a simple majesty, setting a terse rhythm that often slips into the royal subject himself speaking in his own voice from interviews, song lyrics, and other texts in a long career as a post-rock pop music icon. Discreet footnotes offer recommended listening and reading.
The lure of mundane details fascinated me. I had to wonder how a dismal line-up of family members could hold my attention so well, plus the batches of small vignettes, mere anecdotes pressed and prismed in their panels, evoking memories from the past of the youthful David Bowie. The author makes history by what he chooses to portray and the way he deftly slips these factoids into the timestream.
One fact emerges strongly in the beginning, recognizing the tyranny, injustice, and sheer craziness that can afflict a youth in a family environment. Ha! Your mom is crazy? Take a look at mine. The story reminded me of books by psychologist R.D. Laing that convinced me family dynamics can contribute to schizophrenia. Family knots encouraged David Bowie to want out. Up and out.
Many hooks draw flesh in this bio-graphic first chapter in the life of David Bowie, communicating with aliens. Further chapters continue online. Get access, copies, and support the creator at <patreon.com/conchrisoulis>.
[Editor’s note: the title is available on Comixology – Rebel Rebel: The graphic biography of David Bowie #1 – Comics by comiXology For more on Bowie’s life in comics, see also https://www.worldcomicbookreview.com/2020/08/07/hadden-hall-v-bowie-stardust-rayguns-and-moonage-daydreams-a-comparative-review/ ]