Moynihan, Jesse – The Backwards Folding Mirror #2



The Backwards Folding Mirror #2

If I had an actual list of people I’ve heard of but haven’t read, Jesse Moynihan would be at the top of it.  It’s a name that has been floating around for years, but as I mostly go by books I get in the mail or at conventions these days, I haven’t really had a chance to see his stuff.  This comic is from 2005 (it’s 3/28/09 right now), but Jesse’s website does mention that this is a bi-monthly book.  Sorry, I figured out that that was rarely true many years ago, and judging from his website and wandering around the internet this is the last issue of this series.  That’s an imprecise way to judge, granted, so a bit more digging seems to show that he’s at least done plenty of other images, although I can’t seem to find any sort of a store that has a definitive pile of his comics.  Note to cartoonists: make it a bit easier to find your stuff, as I’m usually lazier than I am today.  Regardless, it’s easy enough to find this issue to buy, so I’ll shut up about it already.  What’s it about?  It’s a dreamy, disjointed thing, and I mean that only in the best possible sense.  Things start off with a garden gnome the size of a regular human (or so) who finds his friend, the Sad Pony, suffering after breaking its leg.  The gnome is asked to put the pony out of its misery, but upon asking another creature for help the gnome ends up watching the Sad Pony being carried away through the sky by… himself.  Following this is a mostly subjective quest to find the pony involving an angry elephant, a dark secret, an expanding and contracting keyhole and some serious moral ambiguity.  The second story is another half-awake, half-asleep kind of thing, dealing with the same gnome sleeping with his girlfriend.  The gnome has a serious out-of-body experience, but calling out to his girlfriend pulls him back to reality and ruins the whole thing.  Finally there’s another story about the girlfriend, as she wakes up and wanders into a lake to confront a hairy bird-like creature.  Said creature pokes a hole in her head, which eventually leads all the way back to the Sad Pony, as the gnome enjoys getting to use the entire bed.  There are layers and layers past what I’m conveying here, obviously, but the fun in these comics is figuring them out for yourself, or making your own reality with it.  It’s gorgeous, haunting in all the right places and occasionally even uplifting.  I also got the impression that the secret of the universe was in here somewhere, if I could just dig a little deeper…


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