If, like some of the DW team, you were thrown into a grump after the realisation that following tonight’s midsummer eve the days are only going to get shorter, then new book, Constructive Abandonment, by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber may well appeal.
The book, which has been realised by Canadian independent publisher Drawn & Quarterly (well worth checking out, if you haven’t before), features a series of child-like, often humorous, paintings of animals and children weighed down by the pressures of life.
The book offers up often comic and sometimes moving scenes, including a manatee delivering a first aid box to a drowning man, a sword-wielding chap and racoon fighting a dinosaur and a young boy retching into a towl with the caption ‘Grandma’s Potroast’. There are also some excellent visual examples of the ‘werge’ – including a ‘Manicorn’ – half man, half unicorn – and ‘Grampoline’ – an elderly trampolinist.
The strength of the paintings is their naïve style coupled with the incongruous, and sometimes dark, captioning. It’s an entertaining read, charming enough to shake off even the most stubborn Midsummer blues.
Constructive Abandonment by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber is published by Drawn & Quarterly, priced at $15.95.