AGONY, a graphic narrative by Mark Beyer reviewed by Nathan Chazan • Cleaver Magazine
It’s difficult to write about any individual Mark Beyer comic. His works return to the same characters, motifs and events, so particular to his voice that a broad description of a Beyer comic can just as easily describe his entire oeuvre. Beyer draws nihilistic stories about life going from bad to worse, usually focusing on Amy and Jordan, a couple whose life is beyond bleak. His art is childlike and dementedly unreal; bizarre forms and wonky perspectives, complemented by obsessive, handmade stippling, create an atmosphere of fanatical intensity. The language of Amy and Jordan stories are almost drab in their bluntness, adding to the overall sense of unreality. It’s a world of disaster that is both terrifying and hilarious at once. A typical Amy and Jordan panel shows the two menaced by some strange-looking knife-wielding monstrosity, arms in the air, flatly screaming “aaaahhhhh!”