CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 3. . . .September 22, 2017
Toronto, ON: Koyama Press, 2017.
96 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
Grades 10-12 / Ages 15-17.
Review by Teresa Iaizzo.
There exist several known worlds beyond the physical.
Very few have glimpsed these higher planes.
Access to such levels of reality is limited and typically reserved for highly enlightened beings.
With considerable difficulty, through a lifetime of spiritual obligation and the performance of sacred rituals, one may briefly gain entrance into these realms.
Only the most determined individuals are able to endure the required routine of strict devotion and holy obedience.
On rare occasions, lesser beings have been known to mysteriously pass through the cosmic barrier.
Crawl Space is the psychedelic new graphic novel by artist Jesse Jacobs that forces young adults to think outside the box and forsake the mundane.
The story, itself, is very simple. A young girl Daisy, while searching for a missing sock, finds that the washing machine and dryer in her basement are portals to another dimension. At first, fearing recrimination from her friends, she decides not to tell anyone, but once her friend Jeanne-Claude finds out and tells the whole school, chaos ensues. Everyone wants to teleport to this other realm where rainbows and colourful creatures abound. However, when her classmates start trashing her place and misusing the laundry machines, Daisy begins to retreat farther and farther into this alternate reality.
Essentially, what I really liked about the plot was its exploration of the unknown. Jacobs takes a very deep concept, that of alternate reality and higher planes of existence, and makes it accessible for young adults. By taking very mundane objects (a washer and dryer) and transforming them into portals of the unknown, Jacobs is showing us that the ordinary has the potential to be extraordinary.
But the star of this graphic novel to me is Jacobs’ illustrations, themselves. He does a great job of juxtaposing everyday reality with that of the alternate reality. For him, the everyday is very dull and is represented by black and white images whereas the higher planes of reality are extraordinary and are full of vibrant colours that just pop off the page. His artwork is truly original and meshes perfectly with the story’s plot.
Overall, I would recommend this graphic novel to both young adults and adults alike, especially if they want to enjoy a bit of mind-bending escapism.
Teresa Iaizzo is a librarian with the Toronto Public Library.
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