"Klaxon" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by SelfMadeHero
Written by Si Spencer
Illustrated by Dix
2015, 128 Pages
Graphic novel released on November 10th, 2015
Carlisle and his two friends are losers. They live in a crappy apartment, putzing around and eating wall insulation for fun. Life is boring to them. There's nothing to do but eat wall insulation apparently. That is until some strange new neighbors move in. Carlisle becomes obsessed with these new people to the point that he actually leaves the house. Then there's a levitating fat woman, food that falls from the sky, a ghost, and a creepy lady carrying a TV. It makes just as much sense as that last sentence.
I wish I could describe to you what actually happens in Klaxon. I got to the end of this book and just did not understand what I had just read. It's weird...really weird. It's the kind of thing that I imagine acid to be like. There's one guy with a face that's like clay and another guy that enjoys punching him to see what strange expressions this clay-like face can make. There is no reason given for this or any of the other oddities that pop up within these pages.
There isn't much of a story at work. Klaxon is more of an experience. You're floating through this warped reality as this apartment complex drifts further and further into the bizarre. Dialogue is sparse and the artwork does little to explain what's going on. The one intriguing part of Klaxon is that you can't tell what's real and what's a vision brought on by all that wall insulation. Is Carlisle really seeing these things? Or is he just really high?
Dix's artwork is suitably creepy and works with the overall vibe of the book. The most unsettling character is Mr. Stapleton, who's almost clown-like in his appearance. He's got this big toothy smile, beady little eyes, and an oversized pinkish nose. He gives off the feeling that he's up to something, although you can't figure out what. If you were to pick up the newspaper tomorrow and see that face below the headline “12 Bodies Found in Weirdo's Backyard Circus Tent”, you wouldn't think twice about the connection.
Klaxon is like watching Twin Peaks starring Beavis and Butthead with the sound off, while huffing paint fumes. The characters have little to no redeeming qualities and it's near impossible to care about them in the slightest. It's weird seemingly for the sake of being weird and that's not enough to carry a story.