|Book Author(s)||Saman Bemel-Benrud|
|Book List Price||$8|
“Abyss, 40 pages of a young urban couple staring into the titular maw of a vacant lot slated to become a condo and discovering that — well, you know what they say about abysses and gazes.
Bemel-Benrud’s work draws a lot of its oomph from the contrast between his all-pencil line and simple figures on the one hand and the cold digital user-interface smoothness of the technology he’s picking at, and that’s certainly the case here; it’s fascinating to see how different artists approach the problem of hand-drawing the communication of computers. Abyss benefits also from playing with the specific phenomena of mass metropolitan culture: Chipotle, smartphones, AR advertising, those damn condo lots. But its primary power lies in its presentation of these mundane markers of late capitalism into vessels of wonder and terror — abysses that can be fallen into, home to ghosts that open one’s eyes to new states of being enabled by the same device you used to pre-order your burrito. Is it a dream, or a nightmare? And if it transforms your life, is that a distinction without a difference?” -Sean T. Collins