Unended

$24.95

by Josh Bayer

What prevents you from finishing your life’s work?

Josh Bayer finds a manuscript of an unfinished play inside his deceased father’s desk. The play tells the story of Josh’s mother’s early death (age 35) and his father’s struggle with single parenthood. When he attempts to adapt the play into comics, it triggers a series of personal crises. Bayer’s limitations and futile ambitions are brought into sharp relief as he grapples with an estranged, unknowable parent and the play’s frustrating lack of resolution.

Uncivilized Books
ISBN: 9781941250563

In stock

SKU: 9781941250563 Categories: , , Product ID: 94488

Description

Josh Bayer finds a manuscript of an unfinished play inside his deceased father’s desk. The play tells the story of Josh’s mother’s early death (age 35) and his father’s struggle with single parenthood. When he attempts to adapt the play into comics, it triggers a series of personal crises. Bayer’s limitations and futile ambitions are brought into sharp relief as he grapples with an estranged, unknowable parent and the play’s frustrating lack of resolution.

Humans worship lore, myth, and fables, but many people’s unwritten stories become abandoned. This book looks at the dreams we leave to that abyss and asks, “why?” 

Bayer’s inky line, tangled textures, and kaleidoscopic color boldly fuse on the page into comic book semiotics, flights of grandeur, and tangents inside tangents. Josh Bayer stitches scattered memories into surrealistic episodes permeated with dream logic. Unended may be a Promethean journey towards fiery triumph and emotional closure, or will it be a doomed quest that remains unending? 

“The art nods to classic comics, though with a visceral, surrealist bent indebted to Raymond Pettibon’s punk LP sleeves as much as Anselm Kiefer and Käthe Kollwitz’s haunted expressionism. Long-limbed figures skulk the panels, contorted by anguish and insecurity, and Bayer sometimes draws his father wearing an executioner’s hood. Details require close reading in swirling compositions that flood the senses, but the obsessive reckoning with legacy resonates throughout. This charged account of the past’s enduring grip is a triumph.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

“Josh Bayer is a true expressionist comics hero. His relentless self-questioning, analog punk struggle, reifies the eternity of the comics as the greatest artform.”
Matthew ThurberArt ComicMr. Colostomy

“Heart-rending and sense-flooding, gorgeous, tragic, generous and vulnerable – UNENDED is an artwork I’ll never forget.” – Jonathan Lethem

Josh Bayer lives in Harlem and has worked as a Graphic Novelist, Fine Artist, and Illustrator for twenty years. Josh is the editor of the anthology Suspect Device and the author of ThethRaw PowerTheth Tomorrow ForeverRM, and Black Star. Additionally, he is the editor and writer of the All Time Comics imprint from Floating World Comics and Fantagraphics. His style is characterized by a genre fusion tying together different historical cartooning styles with a devout punk rock anti-narrative. His comics work was reprinted in the Best American Comics series in 2014 and 2017, selected from work across the country by editors Ben Katchor and Jonathan Letham. Bayer has an extensive career producing conceptual art for various TV and film productions for clients, including MTV, HBO, and Amnesty International. Josh earned an MFA in Illustration and Cartooning in 2009 and has taught professionally since 2007 at schools all over New York.

272 page full color paperback
Uncivilized Books, 2023

Additional information

Weight 27 oz
Dimensions 10 × 8 × 1 in