Spiral and Other Stories (Paperback)

Spiral and Other Stories By Aidan Koch, Nicole Rudick (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Aidan Koch, Nicole Rudick (Afterword by)
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A delicate, dreamlike, and lushly detailed comics collection by a contemporary artist whose work explores the enmeshment of the human and non-human worlds.

For years, Aidan Koch’s comics have been pushing the boundaries of the medium, reimagining what a comic can look like and how it can tell a story. Koch has been living and working in the desert of California, turning her focus toward the ways humans and the natural world converge. Spiral and Other Stories is a triumph of that continuing process. 

Using watercolors, pencils, crayons, charcoals, and collage, Koch builds worlds of dense detail and vast open spaces, urgent scrawled text and long silences, telling a series of stories about people and the places they inhabit. Characters yearn for each other, even as they’re pulled toward different lives. Rivers dance together, then diverge as they make their way to the sea.

With an accompanying essay by the author and critic Nicole Rudick, who explores Koch’s craft and her move into environmentally focused comics, Spiral and Other Stories is a showcase of Koch’s mastery of comics as a medium that can contain astonishing forms and offer new kinds of storytelling for our uncertain times.

About the Author

Aidan Koch is a multimedia artist and author of several book-length comics. An educator and key figure in the environmental comics movement, she is the founder of the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations, a publisher and educational organization. She has exhibited in galleries in North America, South America, and Europe. She lives in the Mojave Desert.

Nicole Rudick is a critic and editor. She has written widely on art, literature, and comics for publications such as The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Artforum. In 2022, Siglio Press published her book on the artist Niki de Saint Phalle, What is Now Known was Once Only Imagined.

Praise For…

“Across the main title story and three shorter stories, artist and graphic novelist Koch contemplates nature and relationships via sparse, impressionistic art and laconic narration and dialogue….White space dominates the pages, the emptiness amplifying bright splashes of watercolor, dabs and slabs of earth tones, and the striking visages of Koch’s characters. Koch gorgeously captures the poignancy of facial expressions (anchored by soulful eyes and wriggled brows) and the poetry of a body’s pose. This keen eye for kinesiology runs through all four stories ... [they are] boldly meditative and enriching." —Kirkus Reviews

“Koch’s lovely, softly colored minimalism zeroes in on small, specific details, such as the blue polka dots of a woman’s socks as she climbs a staircase—resulting in an innovative image that looks like drops of water floating up the steps. This and other abstractions suffuse the work with a beguilingly ambient quality. Koch’s artful interludes offer much to ponder.” —Publishers Weekly  

"Aidan Koch’s Spiral is visually exquisite, colors and silences and lines dancing across a page. But what really excites me is how these comics work, or resist working, as fiction. How an eye moves through the plot. It’s almost like Koch has taken the abstract minimalist fictions of someone like Lydia Davis and turned them into—installation? a sculpture? A beautiful provocative space to be inside of and move through." —Danielle Dutton

"Aidan Koch is a master of minimalism. Each page is an evocative poetic structure. She pares down her drawing and writing to create big open spaces of thought—meditations on friendship, change, and how we overlap with the natural world." —Lauren R. Weinstein

"What happens when we speak into the geography? The ecology? These are moving and raw questions Aidan Koch asks of us as we contemplate this resplendent take on where we belong in the landscapes that hold us. This genre-blurring collection is dreamy and poetic and will stay with you." —Aimee Nezhukumatatuil

Product Details
ISBN: 9781681378350
ISBN-10: 1681378353
Publisher: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English