A Most Unpleasant Revelation

Anthony N. Castle reviews Mr. Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye Heresy has come to The City Of The Ever Open Eye. Through every crack and crevice, an alien sect has bubbled up in order to poison the youth, corrupt the dead and make mockery of ancient tradition. Join Mr. Unpronounceable – homeless necromancer – as he becomes embroiled in a multidimensional conspiracy that is quite beyond his capacity to deal with. Insect Priests, Shambling Ghouls, Mandrill Philosophers, Domestic Demons, Ectoplasmic Monkeys, and Shrivelled Homunculi abound in this surreal second volume of Mr Unpronounceable tales from cult author and psychedelic fantasy artist, Tim Molloy.

Tim Molloy, an expat Kiwi now based in Melbourne, has become something of a local institution known for his vivid illustration and startling comics. Molloy has come to infamous comics acclaim for his Mr Unpronounceable series, detailing the strange and frightening journeys of a bespectacled magician in a two-piece suit. Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye sees our homeless necromancer hitching a ride with a dead man in order to return to his hometown. Soon, our hero is angered by the presence of a new, blasphemous religion in his city and is beset by indoctrinated children and zombie doppelgangers as he seeks to unravel the mystery of the Sect of the Bleeding Eye. That’s the plot, or the closest approximation to one as you’re going to get, at least. Tim Molloy’s work runs a strange gamut of ideas and imagery influenced by his childhood conversion to Catholicism and an adult conversion to psychedelic experiences. As such, Molloy’s work is not quite akin to the 60s/70s psychedelic work of the classic Zap Comix crew, but swaps out the hippies and surfer stuff for mysticism and body horror. Mr Unpronounceable mixes the religious with the surreal in a world of corrupt magisteria, horrid godheads and bizarre symbols. Despite the utterly distinct nature of the work, there are some inevitable cinematic comparisons to make, from Mr Unpronounceable’s Lynch-esque taste for the dark and disturbing to its sacrilegious juxtaposition of religious imagery that is superficially reminiscent of Jodorowsky. The continuing instances of physical damage in the Mr Unpronounceable series matches the body horror genre of Lynch’s Eraserhead well enough. When Mr Unpronounceable pushes his baby homunculus in a stroller in the story Desolation of the Suburbs, we see more than a passing resemblance to Eraserhead’s Mr Spencer (also a suited father figure with considerable quiff). Mr Unpronounceable’s interiors are black and white and Molloy’s art is characterised by a fine line work that cleanly outlines some monstrous imagery. This distinct style delivers the cartoonish with a sense of madness. Note the frequency of strained, iris-less eyes and sharp teeth. Creatures appear ill and pernicious in skillful, subtle and not so subtle ways. In regards to the storytelling, Molloy never lets the imagery or absurdist twists totally derail the through-line of a scene and the pacing is solid. No matter the madness, we never lose the sense of mystery around the icon of the bleeding eye and there is an odd sense of closure when its meaning is finally realised as an all-to-human desire. Mr Unpronounceable starts his journey wanting to return home and the final revelation gives voice to that ancient religious instinct. Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye is not for everyone. Some readers might find the wending plots and overwrought dialogue wearing. It’s also frequently gross and consistently untethered. However, anyone who opens this book expecting pleasant escapism would be foolish. Offering a pleasant experience is not Tim Molloy’s principal concern. Rather, Mr Unpronounceable is a nightmarish evocation of the unreal and the numinous that weds a very real yearning for spiritual discovery with a Lewis Caroll level of nonsense. That is its achievement. Mr Unpronounceable is, in fact, a most unpleasant revelation. To pick up Mr Unpronounceable, check out http://www.milkshadowbooks.com/products/mr-unpronounceable-sect-bleeding-eye/ Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye Price: $19.95 Writer/Artist: Tim Molloy Pages: 160 Format: B/W Softcover Edition: First Edition ISBN: 978-0-9925082-1-0

About GC

Gary Chaloner is the creator of Flash Damingo and The Jackaroo, The Undertaker Morton Stone & Red Kelso. He's also worked on Will Eisner's John Law, Robert E. Howard's Breckinridge Elkins, Astro City, Doc Wilde and Unmasked. He's the co-convenor of The Ledger Awards and the host/publisher of the AustralianComicsJournal.com.

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