SMALL PRESS REVIEWS AND CEREBRATING LIFE'S LITTLE WONDERS
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Review -- Cody Pickrodt's REPTILE MUSEUM 3
Reptile Museum 3
In Reptile Museum 3, Pants takes off his pants, and, in doing so, reveals the darkness inside himself.
Hmmmm.... That came out sounding a little differently then I think I wanted it to. Sorry. In order to understand what I'm talking about, maybe you should look at my reviews of Issue #1 and Issue #2 – but you don't have to. Bear with me, we'll try to make sense of this together.
Reptile Museum is all about world building. Cody Pickrodt is putting together a fully realized world that is as recognizable as it is off putting.
In his series, Pickrodt is slowly revealing his larger design. Each issue has added just a small piece to a grander narrative; Pickrodt is keeping things under wraps, letting actions explain. For me, the best stories are those told gently. Those that resonate most allow us time to inhabit them. We are always so much in a rush to get here or there – get to the point, get on the horn – that we have begun to lose sight of how much aesthetic enjoyment can be had in a ramble.Reptile Museum is that ramble. It is kind of like floating in an inner tube down a slow moving river, dragging cold beers behind you on a rope, the sun reflecting off the water onto the underside of the trees.
It's an interesting narrative technique that is enhanced by Pickrodt's panel-less pages. In the absence of the clear delineation, actions flow more naturally. The reader drifts through the action instead of trying to fill in the gutters – the act of closure becomes more liquified, we float through the telling.
Reptile Museum #3 is all about the seduction of Gristin Gray of the Gray House and the fallout it engenders. Pickrodt is further characterizing his hero, Pants, a character who becomes more and more complex with each subsequent issue. Pants wears the scars of his 10 year absence all over his body, but also on his heart. I know that sounds sappy, but Pickrodt wants us to feel a little sappy in this issue. Pants has returned from being gone for so long. Who he is is being parsed out as slowly as Pickrodt's narrative.
You are the target audience for this series. I promise you. Trust me. Lie back in the inner tube, crack open an ice-cold beer, and let the slow waters of Reptile Museum carry you along. The slow pace is good for you. So is the liquid.