In full disclosure, I’ll start off this review by saying that I had no idea what the term eleutheromania meant…and now I’m low key obsessed (no pun intended). Essentially, the term means an obsessive, bordering on manic, desire for freedom–to be free of that which enslaves us: our weaknesses, our addictions, our feelings. And in his comicbook debut Eleutheromania, writer Anas Abdulhak beautifully explores how complicated it is to liberate one’s self from figurative chains.
Act 1 depicts a man who is desperate to break free of his chains, only to then find himself longing to return to them. It’s a simple metaphor, but very effective. Anyone who has experienced trauma in any form knows exactly what that difficult emotional state is like: “of a hope like desolation,” as Abdulhak writes. The art in Act 1, by Anton Mozhegov, pairs so well with the story’s narrative. The grayscale, rough linework, and crosshatching help to convey the turmoil that the character is in, and the lettering by Novella Locritani just screams despair.
The second part of Eleutheromania takes us to space (very Watchmen vibes) and delivers an affecting portrayal “of high highs and the lows” and the ways in which those chains can sneak up on us .. .just when we think we’re free. The art in Act 2 by Mattia Monaco is bold and visually compelling, and the lettering by Locritani once again suits the mood perfectly.
Eleutheromania offers everything I look for in a comic that’s marketed as “abstract”–it’s just abstract enough to allow the reader to pour themselves into it, resulting in a very emotional and rewarding experience. The comic is available digitally at Gumroad and for free on Anasabdulhak.com. Prefer a physical copy? Head over to CWSbookstore.com. Either way, this book needs to be on your shelf.
Just Abstract Enough10.0/10
Oh, to be Human. Despair. Survive. Repeat.10.0/10
- Writer: Anas Abdulhak
- Act 1 Artist: Anton Mozhegov
- Act 2 Artist: Mattia Monaco
- Letterer: Novella Locritani
- Publisher: Self-Published
- Release Date: 2022