Page 1 of Memento Mori by Kaiser Caimo.

Page 1 of Memento Mori by Kaiser Caimo.

Review by Ben Z

Created by Kaiser Caimo

Website: http://kaisercaimo.tumblr.com/search/memento%20mori

‘People around me keep losing people they’re close to’ – so begins the first line from Kaiser Caimo’s mixed media graphic novel Memento Mori. Caimo is a Co. Monaghan based artist who dipped into the comic making business last year doing two comics ‘Memento Mori’ and another called ‘Pretty Dresses’. Pretty Dresses seems to have being taken down but Memento Mori is still up on their site and is available to read for free (link above).

What I find interesting about the comic is that Caimo is a classically trained artist (as well as being a very good writer) who approached the art from a different viewpoint then the traditional perspective of ink on paper. They use a mixed media format spilling in and out of various forms such as collage to traditional Chinese art to watercolours.

Part of it reminds me of David Mack’s early comics especially his work on Daredevil below.
This though isn’t your simple superhero story this is something else…
The narrative of Caimo’s tale is simple and at first glance the comic is about death. Both of these are wrong. Caimo’s tale is non-linear with flights of fancy, events and thoughts flowing through with barely a break in between to tell the reader what the difference is. It’s kind of like taking a bath inside the author’s head and being enveloped by the atmosphere they have created. This is a tale of a person who cannot connect with the world, who thinks that being hit by the most powerful state in the universe (death) means that they should feel something like wanting to embrace the life-force, empathy, humanity, what-have-you of the collective. Instead they find themselves just becoming more and more isolated as these emotions never come and they begin to questions themselves.
If this sounds like heady stuff don’t be put off. The artist has a deft touch and takes you through the story with an ease that belies this was their first effort in this art form. Overall this is a comic well worth your time to read and maybe give a second to ponder the big ideas being thrown around. I should probably add that there is a note of optimism in the story in case you think your settling in for something unbearably grim.

Anyway the best way to decide about it is to read the actual story.

Faithfully submitted by

Ben Z.