As usual with Thomas Ott, a couple of pictures is much better than a thousand words. Brrrrr, scary.
Full of murder, hate, oppression, torture, suicide, and madness, these stories may repulse quite a few readers. The content is not so much different from a typical Alfred Hitchcock Presents / Tales from the Crypt kind of story, but in a comic book format, especially one drawn by Ott, the stories are much more graphic, disturbing and gory.
I copied here Clean Up!, not so sinister a tale that I was able to get from the book sampler – probably not the best in the collection, but still, it gives a very good idea what to expect.
I found Thomas Ott by pure accident, flipping through the shelves of Newbury Comics in Harvard Sq. The book I got myself back then had a fascinating cover and an intriguing title The Number 73304-23-4156-6-96-8 – and given it was a pricey hardcover packed in sealed cellophane, I couldn't sneak a peak – so I bought it just because of these two characteristics, cover and title. It was worth it – indeed, it was a hell of a read, as far as i remember – though, to be absolutely frank, I forgot the story entirely by now. Will re-visit.
Cinema Panopticum is a shorter book – took me 20-something minutes to flip it through. An intriguing collection of five short horror stories, drawn in line with Ott's unique style. No words used at all, the book is a classy silent movie in comic book format – and not a Chaplin one, but rather Eisenstein's or Vertov's. The content of the stories is quite Kafkian, to say the least, form and plot – and I wonder whether The Champion story was influenced by any chance by Guy Maddin's La Sombra Dolorosa short. Hm.
Absolutely enjoyable and fun.