Read the full review here – extract below….
“I’ve gotten about halfway through reading Monomono-Banza Diaries Vol. 1 by Eze Chimalio. I’m still waiting for the story to begin. But this strange 347-book doesn’t follow any of the conventions of comics, graphic novels, story-telling, or even normal prose and literature. Instead, it works to an open-ended, free-ranging and very fluid structure, enabling the artist to introduce multiple characters, multiple viewpoints, and multiple storylines. A character may appear for 3 or 4 panels, speak their piece, and vanish again – or possibly reappear 50 pages later in a quite different setting. Chimalio structures his book as a series of short vignettes, sometimes introduced by a lengthy caption which takes up the top third of the panel, a stream of baffling prose which may or may not relate to the events which unfold for the next 14-15 images. Other than that, you’ve got no breaks, no chapter headings, no captions which explain where we are or what’s going on, no beginning-middle-and-end structure, in short nothing that would help orient the reader the way a conventional graphic novel might attempt to do. Chimalio’s first achievement, then, is a liberation of story-telling from the bonds of common sense, in favour of a poetic, personal, stream-of-consciousness mode of writing. I’m hardly surprised to learn that my old friend is also an avant-garde jazz musician; this book is as close as I’ve seen to expressing free improvisation in panel form.”