Ambient ComicsbyNadine Redlich
If you are you looking for one of the most modern and innovative comic strips around, look no further. With her Ambient Comics, Nadine Redlich has drawn the beginning and end of all possibilities, the universal comic. Honouring the attention span of Generation Smartphone, she tells 74 six-image stories in which – as you would expect from a comic – time passes between the pictures. The one-page stories range from highly dramatic themes such as the end of the world, melting polar ice caps and collapsing buildings, to everyday dramas like a growing pimple. Redlich tells all her tales without a single word; her comics are silent. She draws sparingly but with precision. The story emerges through small details that change from picture to picture. Often, the drama is concealed behind the images: a tiny plant, for instance, grows slowly out of the plughole as dishes stack up next to the sink. We sense the kind of conflict that arises in shared flats everywhere – a story of shirked responsibility and procrastination. Or perhaps someone died before they got around to doing the washing up? Ultimately, we the readers tell ourselves the story.
If you invest the time that Ambient Comics needs, you will be richly rewarded. Like a good whisky, it takes one or two sips for the taste to develop, but then the full flavour really comes through.