photo & text by nacrowe
oh my god, I WANT YOU (DRAWN & QUARTERLY, 2020) by LISA HANAWALT is absolutely insane.
this graphic novel is very much in touch with a level of DADA-esque absurdity that i was not prepared for. it ranges from lovingly-detailed drawings (that would make ALBRECHT DURER proud) of HIPSTER ANTHROPOMORPHIC animals hanging out at clubs, parties and the like, to crudely drawn sexual and FECAL-OBSESSED observations. and then there are random drawings of animals with ever more outlandish hats.
what i take from it all is that I WANT YOU is essentially a 20-something taking in her lived experiences and manifesting them through an absolutely feverish sense of unbounded creativity to the point of ABSTRACTION and SURREALISM. utilizing ANIMAL HEADS with HUMAN BODIES (complete with fashionable HIPSTER attire) seems as apt a vehicle as any for describing the SURREAL experience of experiencing real AUTONOMY for the first time as a young adult. those SOCIAL NEGOTIATIONS of learning what your boundaries are and how odd and difficult it is when you make mistakes regarding such. it is at that stage when you learn what your limits are and what your actual preferences are with regards to friends and romantic partners. so why not have a HUMANOID CAT date a HUMANOID DEER and witness the chaos ensue. doesnt feel that much difference than my experience in my early 20s.
if you are a fan of TRANSGRESSIVE art and a DADA-esque comedic sensibility than definitely check out I WANT YOU and the work of HANAWALT in general. but then you probably already knew that given her day job as the production designer and producer of BOJACK HORESMAN on NETFLIX. this graphic novel is definitely something i will revisit in the future and attempt to grasp in better detail, because i am so lost i dont know where to begin.
or maybe that was the point all along.