Lorenzo Mattotti at TCAF! Review of CHIMERA

Lorenzo Mattotti is coming to TCAF! He will not be back in Toronto any time soon, so this is a rare opportunity to meet this famous and enormously talented European creator. Mattotti will be participating in interviews, panels, discussions and signings at TCAF and this is your chance to really get to know this work.

To celebrate Mattotti’s appearance at TCAF, we are running reviews of his English language books all week. Next up, Chimera!

Title: Chimera
Artist and writer: Lorenzo Mattotti
Published: 2008
Publisher: Fantagraphics

Review by John Anderson

A chimera is a flight of fancy, an incongruous union of ideas. This definition suits Mattotti’s Chimera, which is a wordless dream told in expressionistic black and white. It begins with someone falling asleep under a tree, and follows the dream as it moves from one character to another, encompassing themes of sex, childhood, violence, and spooky rabbits. It begins as predominantly thin black lines on white, and gradually gets darker until it culminates in a walk through a creepy forest in a chaos of thick black lines. This book beautifully captures the phantasmagoric flow of images that occurs in dreams.

Mattotti’s art is incredible. There are panels that are so intricate that I wonder how he had the time to draw so many of them. At 32 mostly wordless pages it’s a very short book, but the imagery, like the panels of a child throwing a toy at a giant, or the panels showing a huge black bird carrying off a rabbit in a rainstorm, will stay with you long after you finish reading. If you like the intense, emotional, sometimes dreamlike artwork Mattotti did for Stigmata, you will love Chimera.

You can find Chimera in store at The Beguiling, or you can buy it online at beguiling.com.