We all live in the real world where we can use all of our five senses every day. But when we sleep at night (or even daydream) we drift off into another place. It can be a land of pleasure, pain or just some odd happening that wakes us up and has us shake our head – “What the heck was that all about”?
Driven By Lemons by Joshua W. Cotter (Skyscrapers Of The Midwest) from Adhouse Books takes us into one of those places. Call it a dream or nightmare it’s in our subconscious and to see it on paper is a horrific and wondrous experience.
It’s hard to explain what exactly this book is, or about, what the story is (if there even is one) and what the outcome is. The subtitle of the book is, “Up The Stream Consciousness Without A Paddle”. That, in and of itself, could mean a number if things. The book begins with a two page rant that looks to be from one of John Doe’s notebooks from Se7en. The sentences are not coherent but are an interesting read nonetheless. We then move to a truck falling from the sky and from there the realms of consciousness and subconsciousness intertwine with the colors of red squares and blue triangles strewn about the pages of pencil sketches. We do meet a protagonist, of sorts, a rabbit that will, eventually, be laid up in a hospital bed (was he the driver of the truck?). From there he drifts off and on to sleep and we hear what he hears including his distraught roommate in the hospital. The rabbit becomes tormented and from there we follow his journey. Is it real or not? Or was the hospital even real, we don’t really ever find out.
But what we do know is that the images are worth repeated looks and readings. Immediately finishing the final page, I turned back to the front only to read it again to get a better understanding as to what I missed – the red’s and blue’s for instance. Cotter wants us all to make our own interpretations of the book, so your will undoubtedly be very different from mine. According to Adhouse it’s a, “Sketchbook replica of recent multimedia explorations in intuitive narrative”. However this sketchbook was put together it does form a somewhat lucid story and it will make you think twice about what you see when you are conscious or what you forget when you are unconscious.
Hollywood constantly explores this realm – The Butterfly Effect, Jacob’s Ladder even A Nightmare On Elm Street. What you see and feel is not always the truth. Or is it? Sometimes it’s hard to say and sometimes both mesh to form their own little world. Cotter’s world is no different in that he gives us a glimspe as to what he has seen with his eyes and his mind. It’s a fascinating journey and one worth taking.
Driven By Lemons GN by Joshua W. Cotter
Adhouse Books, 2009
104 pages, 5″ x 8″, $19.99 US
A copy of this book was supplied to me by Adhouse Books