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Meditative Science Fiction. Spaceman “Monitor” explores Planet 4, encountering feelings from reality and memory. Another beautifully-illustrated story from Mauretania Comics. More
Meditative Science Fiction. Spaceman “Monitor” explores Planet 4, encountering feelings from reality and memory. Another beautifully-illustrated story from Mauretania Comics. Jerome LeGlatin writes, “I have read “Planet 4” many times, and it is a fascinating story. Even though I miss the heavy ink and the nine-panel grid of the earlier Mauretania Comics stories I found this new short story beautiful; surprising and adventurous in its use of colour and shading (Let's point to the ninth “Ships as ghosts” panel as being really wonderful but there are many; the “Little frogs”and “Ride, Monitor, Ride” come to mind) and it is very interesting as a significant piece of the Mauretania puzzle (a puzzle I tend to envision as having no-border and no-centre, a “never-ending, never-done” puzzle). I saw in “Planet 4” a kind of follow-up (re-make/re-thinking/re-enacting/remembering) of the Mauretania Comics story “Our Town”, and I couldn't help reading it as a narrative of many returns. Let's point some of these: Monitor is back in town, “Planet 4” looks back onto “Our Town”, as the author reflects on his past work (allusions abound : the “Cinema Detectives - Rosa Pleck” - poster, the coach station/coach official/Monitor bus ride from “We See Each Other”, the Clearwater Case from “Whisper in the Shadows”, the Roseville Valves from “Our Town”, and maybe others I missed) and ponders its future (Mauretania here and now, as well as Mauretania as it embraces the digital comics format). How will all of this, the work of the author, his memories and feelings as a human being, keep on existing in this new (technological) world? In what way? Monitor no longer travels from town to town but from planet to planet, and it is not just a “cosmetic” change in the Mauretania world (I remember also it is not his first space trip - reading a Mauretania story is always a remembrance of past Mauretania stories). How will the past survive in this future world? (“Future world” in the sense that the present always seems out of reach... and maybe we should accept this as an inevitable relationship to time and to our lives, whatever century we're living in... a conflictual and bitter-sweet relationship... living a present time we could define as eternally out of reach, always cut in two, between what has been and what is to come... and all the possibilities of what could have been and what may be... our lives as a never-ending puzzle... never fully enclosed...) How to deal with the future without letting it destroy (forget) the past? How to deal with the past without being stuck in it, or without losing it and its memories, without betraying it (and betraying ourselves)? Many questions “answered”, pondered in the end by the way of silent pictures”.