“Intersect” #1 is a strange comic. Written and drawn by Ray Fawkes, it’s deliberately obtuse as it holds back on the reader; there’s no exposition, no walking through the story to date. Yet, there’s also no denying that there’s something attractive about this book. While in the long term some more explanations will need to come, for now it’s an intriguing beginning.
Don’t ask for a plot summary in this review, because you’re not going to find one. If anything, Fawkes seems to delight in interviews in not explaining what his new series is about. So instead, you’re left with disturbing imagery and a strange series of events to go on. “Intersect” is a world where people meld and merge with other beings, fighting for dominance as second faces silently mouth for help as other body parts push to the foreground. Songs become deadly, and strange hybrids between people and kitchen equipment are not out of the realm of possibility.
It sounds slightly ridiculous when written out in cold hard text, and it’s no doubt at least a fraction of the reason why Fawkes has resisted giving a simple sound bite to describe “Intersect” to the press. But here’s the clincher: it’s creepy. Really, really creepy. This is a horror story where people’s own bodies are rebelling, where normalcy has been upended and this chaotic, every-changing landscape is as much an enemy as anything else in the world can be.
A lot of what makes this bizarre, shifting world work is Fawkes’ art, which reminds me as a hybrid of creators like Bill Sienkiewicz and David Mack. It looks like watercolors over inks, the borders of people’s forms barely holding the fluid, one-bleeding-into-the-next colors all together. It’s strange and makes the story work, in a way that a more traditional comic book style would have not succeeded. In general, though, I have to say that I love Fawkes’ usage of colors here. It’s beautifully faded, with each hue working well with the other ones around them, and creating order out of chaos. It’s the overall strength of Fawkes’ vision that makes you willing to come back for a second issue; every element of this comic is so perfectly in sync that it makes me feel like there is a larger meaning that we will eventually discover.
“Intersect” #1 isn’t for everyone. It requires some work on the part of the reader, as well as some faith that Fawkes’ vision will pay off into something moderately comprehensible given enough time. For now, though, there’s enough to want to come back for a second issue.