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Born Into Flame, But the Fire Dies, Amen, Goodbye

Comic, Christopher McQuaid Green, 48 pgs, Mumblethief Moon Comics,, $7
born into
Christopher McQuaid Green wraps three short comics together, here, connected only by their fascination with magical catastrophe. As Green describes it, Born Into Flame, But the Fire Dies, Amen, Goodbye depicts “[t]hree stories that look at loss, find it appetizing, and then take a bite.” The first comic, titled “Chasing the Invisible”, pairs a girl with her grandfather, who argue before they stumble into a hidden dungeon. “One Day” follows a doomed gnome, attempting to escape a murderous time loop. Lastly, “How Life Goes” converges three unrelated stories into one mythical tale of insect wars and human sacrifice. Green’s work is strange, fun, and unexpected, often reaching comically ill-fitting conclusions to his otherwise unphilosophical narratives (see: “So what now?” “Now, we sit still and try to remember . . . that life goes on.”)

What stands out more than Green’s art or narrative is his clever ability to manipulate the paper medium. Green uses a hand-cut, glossy paper for the zine’s jacket, and changes paper-stock for every story. Similarly, while a singular tone carries through the three tales, Green’s art-style is notably different in each instance. Readers will notice his untraditional folds for their ability to facilitate narrative – with the pinnacle his request that one page be read with the zine wrapped in a tube. This experimentation is not always successful, but it requires a great deal of forethought, and the attempt is refreshing. “Born into flame…” is, thereby, very worthwhile. (Joel W. Vaughan)

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