When I was first handed this book from Sparkplug’s Distro to review, I was so frazzled from SPX that I didn’t know what to make of it. At the time I couldn’t even decipher the title and the red demonic face screen printed on the cover intimidated me even further from opening this – what I was soon to discover- amazing book.
Department of Art is all over the place, the comic maintains a very gloomy aesthetic, as the story deals with the chronic frustrations of sustaining focus around a group of procrastinating peers. Dunja’s energetic line work gives her bleak characters an animated feeling that’s always on beat gives the comic an impecible sense of timing and loss thereof. The strongest quality in this story is the use of time, how it bears down on the main character and also how one can get lost in trivial games of self encouragement that only further one’s procrastination.
Dunja’s use of mixed media (most of this is pen and ink, collage, pastel and even some paintings) enhances her comic’s Kafka-esque impression yet it adds humor to the protagonist’s constant attempt to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude throughout the drudging monotony of the 9-5 routine.
There’s some very interesting influences/similarities in the art that I enjoyed seeing, those who also enjoy Blutch, Baudoin, Fly or Taiyu Matsumoto would really appreciatte what Dunja has going on. Much like the aforementioned artists there’s such an elegant quality to the chaos she’s managed to somehow harness in an incredible piece of work that hopefully will continue and blow more people out of the water, as it should.