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Becoming Horses

Becoming Horses

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By Disa Wallander. Published by Drawn & Quarterly. 

Softcover, 192 pages, Colour, 2020

Sometimes I dream about myself
and in my dream I'm someone else
But also, I am me
becoming the horse that I want to be.


Was it always like this? What if your self portrait was a collection of weird shapes? Have you ever felt like an abstract painting? Do you ever simultaneously wish and worry that the boundaries of your body will melt away and you'll become a magnificent horse? Becoming Horses is a book about squinting hard and looking from the right angle to find that everything around you sparkles—just a little—and the shapes of things are not firm but fuzzy. The You you know may shift and take form as a beautiful horse, a sunset, or something so special, so huge that you could never describe it.

Disa Wallander’s Becoming Horses is a mix of delicate cartooning and brash collage—watercolor and photography. Her colorful flowing drawings and watercolors are experimental yet accessible, as her characters mull big questions about life and art, philosophizing in a thoroughly modern voice. Bright dialogue and pleading silences create a beautiful journey that is, in fact, “the destination.”

"A fantastic exploration of movement and form. Evokes equal parts Jules Feiffer and Tove Jansson."—Michael DeForge, author ofLeaving Richard’s Valley.

"I wish Disa Wallander’s images could be eaten or stolen or inhabited. Because I find them so beautiful it hurts to have to settle with just looking at them. But the greatest thing about her book is that it talks about exactly that—the fact that we humans would sometimes like to inhabit works of art or become horses, and that these desires are as comforting as they are painful."—Julie Delporte, author ofThis Woman’s Work

"Wallander’s work inBecoming Horses strikes a lot of notes that modern cartooning seems to have eschewed... A style of cartooning that embraces the unknown and is comfortable with ambiguity. There’s a simplicity of line that is juxtaposed with emotional complexity. It’s a cartooning style that lets readers fall into themselves. It’s a style that makesBecoming Horses both familiar and powerful."—Solrad

"Wallander’s ideas about art are provocative, and her illustrations are incredibly striking in this memorable debut."—Thomas Batten,Library Journal

"This wry meditation on art and self-expression... and gently philosophical ramble is likely to appeal to creative types who periodically get stuck on the question of what creativity is for."—Publishers Weekly

"[T]he mixed media adventure that this book provides is a very serious and lively demonstration of play."
The Quietus

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