The Comic Exotic: SAG by Leo

A semi-regular column about great comics you probably don’t know about. These could be Indie comics, comics with small print runs, or foreign comics. As reader and lover of comics for over 35 years, I’ve accumulated a huge collection. And this collection runs deep with the weird and the esoteric.

SAG by Leo almost seems like a magical object delivered to me from some parallel universe. The fact that it’s written in French only adds to it’s other-worldliness.

           

SAG is a four issue series, and each issue is twenty-four pages long. The first issue was released in 2000. The only reason I found these comics is because a wonderfully weird store, called Wacko, decided to stock them. They were $12 each, and I could’t read them, but as soon as I picked up the first issue I knew that I had to have them all.

The presentation of these comics is very unique. The paper stock is heavy, and the way the pages hold color makes them look weirdly muted and bright at the same time. The cover is made from card-stock so the comic feels more like a book than a “floppy”. The thickness of the paint on the cover implies the quality of a handmade object, rather than anything that was mass produced.

         

When I opened the comic up, it was like my face was melting off as the artwork inside was utterly incendiary. Leo’s work could draw comparisons to Jim Woodring and Charles Burns. I also see some Dave Cooper in there as well. Each of these artists have their own easily recognizable style. But Leo synthesizes their styles, combines them, and makes something new.

      

There are pages where everything is detailed and textured, like a Woodring page.

           

There are pages of solemn faces surrounded by empty space, reminiscent of Burn’s Black Hole.

            

Bizarrely dressed characters float in and out of the story. Their costumes recall the unusual super-heroes of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run.

There are grossly misshapen humans that ooze sweat on their wrinkly faces.

Every page is a kaleidoscope of color and surreal detail.

I wonder, if I could read the words, would I enjoy SAG anymore?

Next time in The Comic Exotic; we look at the last two issues of SAG and also do a little internet sleuthing to find the elusive artist, Leo.

See ya’ next time, True Believer!

Question, comments, insults? Send ‘em to dubcomicsjon@gmail.com

Jon Vinson is the writer of the graphic novel Edge of the Unknown and recently launched the new comics series Nightingale and the Finch. He is the Founder & Publisher of DUB Comics.