In 1989, Mr. McGuire, then an aspiring New York artist better known for playing bass in the postpunk band Liquid Liquid, published a 36-panel comic that hopped backward and forward through millions of years without leaving the confines of a suburban living room, thanks to the use of pop-up frames-within-frames inspired by the relatively new Microsoft Windows… now he has popped up through a wormhole of his own, with a full-color, book-length version of “Here” that once again transforms a corner of his childhood living room in New Jersey into a staging ground for all of earthly history.
Each two-page spread features a fixed view of the room in a certain year, with pop-up windows giving glimpses of what might have been visible in exactly that spot at various moments in the past and future: from the tail of a passing dinosaur to a 1960s children’s birthday party to a quiet late-21st-century fireside chat.
McGuire is amazing. I’m thinking of flying to NYC just to see the show. Don’t miss it if you’re there.
This brilliant comic by Richard McGuire appeared in RAW Vol. 2 No. 2 in 1990. Since I first saw it - twenty-three years ago (?!!!) - it’s often come to mind, both as a wonderful comic and a fun reflection on how we think.
About Time (2013) Directed by Richard Curtis was one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen this year. If this doesn’t convince you to watch it, I just hope you will enjoy these character illustrations inspired by this wonderful movie :P
PS: I tried to not spoil too much with the quotes and these bits from my favorite moments. you will understand if ya watched it.
Even though the book is beautiful, I’m also wondering if I actually wouldn’t the ebook edition, which lets you reshuffle the panels, etc.
Also: I’m suddenly remembering that the 1993 adventure game Day Of The Tentacle is a weird video game cousin of this comic: the characters experience the same house in three historical time periods: 200 years in the past, the present, and 200 years into the future. Damn, I love that game.
Richard McGuire’s gorgeous Here started as a black and white cartoon in Raw magazine 25 years ago — now, McGuire has made it into a full-color, utterly absorbing book chronicling billions of years in the history of one small space — from prehistoric swamp to Native American hunting ground to family home to future strangeness, all appearing in little windows throughout a larger room.
Reviewer Etelka Lehoczkcy says ”the magic of Here is that somehow, alchemically, this sparse little exercise begins to yank on your emotions. As your eye lurches around the page, as you flip back and forth between pages, an irresistible sentiment swells. Rare among conceptual works, Here manages to tug your heart even as it undercuts your comfortable role of reader.”
McGuire himself tells Weekend Edition Sunday that he used family photos as reference imges for Here, but it’s not a memoir: “ did want to talk to touch on all the universal things that we go through - love and death and the major themes. I was looking at a lot of family photos for reference, but I also looked at the archive of a collector that - he collects vernacular photography. And, you know, all family photos look similar in a way, you know, all the holidays look exactly alike. And my main thing was trying to make this book accessible and universal.”
“The entire book really felt musical to me,” McGuire adds. “I mean, I’m a musician as well. Without having a protagonist, I was worried about how the flow of the book - someone was asking me in an interview that I did earlier, like, is the room the protagonist? And I think, you know, the room isn’t there all the time. I think it’s time itself is the protagonist, if there has to be - if there is such a thing.”