Barrel of Monkeys
Florent Ruppert and Jerome Mulot draw comics as a team. Friends since art school, their style melds together seamlessly in their first English-language edition, Barrel of Monkeys. Lovingly designed and edited by Bill Kartalopolus of REBUS, Barrel of Monkeys is a hypnotic, innovative work that drifts along like a dreamlike rhythm. Centered on a pair of cynical and cruel photographers in a series of viscerally uncomfortable situations, the story floats away into tangents and narrative fragments marked by bitterly dark humor, sad poignancy and hilarious perversity. Sexploits at the zoo, awkward portrait sessions, and ablism at orgies give plenty of opportunities for these lovable anti-heroes to launch into shocking displays of douchebaggery underscored by an uneasy sense of schadenfreude.
The visual style of Barrel of Monkeys fluctuates between impressionistic sketchiness and intensely detailed pen work that lends an emotional ferocity to the images. Ruppert and Mulot take delight in experimenting with the comic form, playing with multiple media and provoking the reader to think about languages and visual systems. There are layers hidden within layers in Barrel of Monkeys—it reveals more to the reader on each subsequent reading.