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Item Description
The strangest story ever told
112 pages (color), written and illustrated by Re with
contributions by Mark Bode, Larry Todd and others.
This is book one of a trilogy.
Strangest story ever told (book one 2010)
features creators such as Larry Todd, Mark Roland, and Mark Bode (son of legendary artist Vaughn Bode, whose creation the Cheech Wizard inspired numerous street artist copycats). The sprawling tale picks up from the 1960’s SF Bay Area counterculture movement and postulates an alternate future full of terrorism, new age theory, trans-dimensional travelers, and all manner of conspiracy theory threads. Toward the end, we even get to see New York City 1,000 years in the future as an Iranian Navy Admiral discovers the lost ruins of the once mighty civilization and attempts to take the seized body of The Last American back to Tehran. Visually, The Strangest Story Ever Told is stunning, almost to the point of being overwhelming. It’s rooted in a contemporary art hallmark of re-appropriating and re-contextualizing found imagery. There’s an analog feel to the vast collaged images, and their inherent fuzzy reproduction quality lends a vibrant and raw vibe, like an “uber-zine” with a relatively low print run and regional circulation pattern. As a reader, you’re constantly trying to identity the original source image, analyze its new embedded use and surroundings, and then reconcile the meaning behind the juxtaposition. It’s fun, yet taxing at times, so this book is certainly built for the more adventurous consumer, not wanting one of those pesky familiar formats to contend with. Thematically, it blends pure science, 1950’s style sci-fi, geography, fine art, comix, cybernetics, gender politics, film, period parlance, religion, therapy sessions, new age doctrine, and just about all popular forms of media and social reference. It is a visual blender of human culture, with words like “grok” forcing the reader to immediately succumb to a specific time, place, vibe, and way of thinking about the world around them.
The protagonist seems to want to test the world around him for the existence of a higher power. This quest leads to a messianic cult which embroils him in a global terrorist plot, where martial law leads to outright spiritual warfare, and then on to cosmic conspiracy. The meandering narrative explores every conversational tangent it presents, through space/time portals, down this rabbit hole of reality and understanding, sexual analogies, Bay Area racial politics post-Pearl Harbor, the rise of the X Boys gang in Oakland’s inner city, right up to parallels between 9/11.