Microaviary (after A. Frances Johnson)

28 October 2013

I’ve attempted to use a visual poetry as an equivalent to words. Written and oral poetry to me works best if it evokes images and emotions. The comic poem supplies the images, so it seems logical that they should evoke emotions and words in the reader. My aim was not to be literal, but evocative. To provoke. I want the images to – like poetry – open up the possibilities of interpretation so everyone derives their own meaning from it, mapped as it is against their personalities and values. That’s why I took a lot of words out and left only the words that I thought would clash, alter meanings, confuse, instill their own images. Readers need to work to get the most out of it. Most importantly, we don’t want them to go away and forget it, but to come back irritated by a puzzle they haven’t solved.

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About Bruce Mutard


Bruce Mutard has been writing and drawing comics for 20 years, producing 4 graphic novels: The Sacrifice (Allen & Unwin, 2008), The Silence (Allen & Unwin, 2009), A Mind of Love (Black House Comics, 2011), The Bunker (Image Comics, 2003) and a collection of short stories, Stripshow (Milk Shadow Books, 2012). He also has had short stories in Overland, Meanjin, The Australian Book Review and Tango among others, and has illustrated several books for Macmillan Educations' Stories From Australia's History, series. He has also conducted many comics workshops and given talks at Melbourne Writers Festival, NMIT, RMIT, Edith Cowan University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, and presented papers on comic theory at Oxford University, Loughborough University and University of Arts, London among others.

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