Noology Review

noology1Right off the bat I must say that Noology is a cool name and it’s a real word! It’s also a pretty cool abstract comic by Aussie artist Tim Gaze. Gaze is apparently quite well known in the world of such comics. It’s also a world I’ve only recently been made aware of, thanks to Fantagraphics’ excellent Abstract Comics: The Anthology, of which Gaze is a contributor. You can see some of his recent work on the diverse Abstract Comics blog here. There’s also a very impressive definition, and look at the history, of this artform from Gaze here.

In Gaze’s own words, he creates “experimental poetry,” and has been doing so for a few years. Noology is available now as a free download or as a paperback for less than $9, for 130 black and white pages. Noology is described as glitch poetry, asemic writing and visual noise. Don’t worry, I have no idea what they mean either, but that’s the beauty of abstract comics – you don’t have to really. Visual noise is definitely the best description for this book (of which some of the pages have been seen in previous publications). As I flicked through the pages I kept being reminded of static, or snow, on a TV screen thanks to faulty reception. There was a mystifying, almost trance inducing quality to these pages. It can be enjoyed quickly, as there’s no text, or narrative. 

It actually took me at least 4 reads of the whole book to appreciate it. At first glance, with its frantic lines on every page, there doesn’t seem to be huge differences between each of the first few pieces, but as I looked more closely I could see the evidence of the work put in. A true artist has a reason for every line and even though the entire contents are black and white it resonates with diversity. Some look like paintings from a gallery, some look like tapeworm under a microscope and some look like the readings on old school radio equipment. This is yet another great example of what comics can do that no other medium can.

You can find more of Gaze’s unique work here.

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