Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen

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Red Eye, Black Eye
By K. Thor Jensen
Alternative Comics

K. Thor JensenFrom Homer to Bing Crosby to Kerouac, the travelogue has been one of the most enduring and beloved genres in all of fiction. For one reason or another, however, the style has been largely overlooked in the comics medium, even, for the most part, in indie books, where autobiography is so prevalent.

Red Eye, Black Eye takes a decidedly different approach to the form. Where everyone from Johnny Appleseed to Kesey’s Merry Pranksters saw it fit to spread their own unique brand of joy across this vast country of ours, K. Thor Jensen, who opens the book by simultaneously losing his job, apartment, girlfriend, and grandmother, in the wake of the events of one particular autumn morning in 2001, opts instead to indulge his new found hatred for his fellow man, as he travels from state to state, Greyhound Ameripass in hand.

To his credit, Jensen is seeking more a simple fistfight or two, as he couch hops between states. He’s convinced himself of that same conceit that has kept so many of his fellow literary travelers on the road: the answers have to be out there somewhere, because they sure as hell aren’t waiting for us at home on the couch.

Jensen never stays longer than a few days in any given location, collecting stories from the people he meets along the way, looking, perhaps for the meaning to his own existence that he remains ever-illusive along the road.

On the cliffs of a northern Californian beach, two-thirds of the way through the book, Jensen concedes that, after all of the time spent on the road thus far, he’s still lacking the Augustinian insight we’ve come to expect from such grand excursions. What’s lost on Jensen at that moment in time, is a realization that his character can’t really arrive at until the end of the book—it’s the moral of travelogue worth its mileage: on the road, as in life, the destination is only secondary to all of those moments that come and go in between. In the case of Red Eye, Black Eye even without much in the way of closure, the book is still well worth the journey.

–Brian Heater

No Comments to “Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen”

  1. Bob | February 16th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

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  2. Bob | February 16th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

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  3. Bob | February 16th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    fuck you

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