Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: FRONTIER #11: BDSM by Eleanor Davis

FRONTIER #11: BDSM by Eleanor Davis
Published by Youth in Decline
Available Here


In private spaces and public faces, with gestures intended and performed, life is a series of understandings and actions that form a convoluted collision between truth and deception, fabrication and verisimilitude. Others observe what we perpetrate and, in that, make us mirrors as much as victims.

Regarding Eleanor Davis’ new comic BDSM, publisher Youth in Decline says it’s a “modern SM dating story tackling the complex, intersectional relationships between friends and lovers, feminism and kink, and projection and consumption.” Its subtle precision is rendered in Davis’ confident clear ink lines, often stark against an almost exquisite lack of background. It breathes deeply with the conviction of an artist who understands that the complicated nature of human desire is best conveyed head on, allowing the underlying cacophony of resolution to resonate in the perception of the onlooker.
The seeming simplicity of BDSM almost contradicts the intensity of what Davis is confronting, and, in this disunion, her purpose becomes more innate, forcing the reading of it to become an internal conversation between public and private understandings. From the front cover to the final panel, everything in this book works to pose the questions we more often than not shy from asking out of fear of what the answers may reveal. 

Whether it is confronting the ramifications of power in what feminist film critic Laura Mulvey conceptualized and labeled “the male gaze,” or understanding the interpersonal dynamics of dominance and submission in a sexual relationship as it plays out in both a public arena and a private space, Davis uses the framework of a tight narrative structure to expound upon her ideas, allowing the reader to assign understanding a posteriori. In the end, though, the reader ultimately has to confront themselves.
The Frontier series from Youth in Decline has consistently been a venue for some of the most engaging and powerful comics being published today. By publishing Davis’ BDSM, they have raised the bar even higher.

You can pick up a copy of Frontier #11: BDSM here.

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