I believe that each of us is given one sentence at birth, and we spend the rest of our life trying to read that sentence and make sense of it.
Li Young Lee
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When Richard Kraft asked me to collaborate on Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera(forthcoming from Siglio next March), I hadn’t seen any of the collages that would make up the bulk of the book; he simply told me about them over the phone. I jotted: “menagerie,” “alchemy,” and “putting heads on bodies.” Then, in the spirit of Cage and Cunningham, we worked together apart. Thank goodness, too, because if I’d seen these wild, bewildering, hilarious images beforehand I might have been stunned into silence. Kraft takes Kapitan Kloss, a pre-perestroika comic book about a Polish spy who infiltrates the Nazis, and bombs the plot with elephants on bicycles, white rabbits, Hindu goddesses, bugs, birds, a smattering of porn, and other interruptions. Yet amid the cacophony of collage, there is also, here, a baseline of story marching on: again and again the soldiers, the trucks. Isn’t it a natural impulse to want to follow that line? Soon we feel that even Kraft’s interruptions are gathering narrative force: again and again that rabbit, the goddesses’ hands. Yet as one page compels us to the next, each simultaneously becomes a universe of its own. Subverting becomes telling, bombs become themes, and narrative turns itself sideways, upside-down. As Copernicus said on his deathbed: “It moves!” Here’s a little peek.
Li Young Lee