The excavation

Max Andersson, 1962-

Book - 2017

"Based on the author's dreams, this German Expressionist-influenced graphic novel is about a couple who go to an underground site to visit his family, and surreal events ensue."--

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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
Comics (Graphic works)
Published
Seattle : Fantagraphics Books 2017.
Edition
First Fantagraphics books edition
Language
English
Item Description
Black and white illustrations.
Physical Description
374 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781606999844
1606999842
Main Author
Max Andersson, 1962- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* With every new book, Andersson is likened to more expressionist masters, from Munch to Grosz to Guston. The Excavation reconfirms the comparisons and adds surrealism as a touchstone. Very few graphic novels are more dreamlike. A couple driving to where his family lives finds it replaced by an archaeological dig. Directed to an onsite museum, they descend to, first, a reeking outhouse, then, a living room where they encounter his father; in "Remains of Kitchen" is his mother, who promptly disappears, leaving linked babies bristling with forceps and open incisions, one of whose heads explains that "Daddy's not finished with us," Daddy being the explorer's father, now operating on his brother and expecting him to donate his penis. Next chapter: the couple's in bed; he checks out whether he can still pop the glans off and back onto his penis: he can. Answering a knock on the door, he finds his family, including the now grade-school-sized linked twins, bent on moving in. Many sensational morphings later, the couple is, at least, lying side-by-side in the dark again. Although the woman has her own adventures, this is a male dream, as the man's near-constant lack of pants confirms. Ugly and hypnotic, played out in stark black and white, one framed panel per page, it's a virtuoso achievement in grim surrealism. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An unnamed man takes his girlfriend to meet the parents, only to find he's been away so long the house has become a spooky archeological site. Delving deeper, the two get lost in a fragmented, Freudian world where everything—houses, people, memory—is in the process of being chopped up and stitched back together. Told in a series of rough, woodcut-style full-page illustrations framed by jittery border art, the story follows a claustrophobic dream logic of disjointed time, detachable penises, and shadowy authority figures. As one character puts it, "When you get to a certain point, suddenly everything turns around, like it's inside out or something." An alternative cartoonist from Sweden, Andersson is old-school underground, drawing trauma-eyed blockheads engrossed in disturbing, surreal activities. This jaunt through the seedy back streets of the unconscious isn't for everyone, but lovers of Eraserhead-style hypnagogia will be in their comfort zone. (Jan.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Based on the author’s dreams, this German Expressionist-influenced graphic novel is about a couple who go to an underground site to visit his family, and surreal events ensue.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

EraserheadThe Forbidden Zone