The clarence principle



Keywords: the clarence principle
Description: While I’d never heard of either Fehed Said or Shari Chankhamma. SLG (the book’s publisher) had built up enough good will from me over the years that any time I would see their label,

While I’d never heard of either Fehed Said or Shari Chankhamma. SLG (the book’s publisher) had built up enough good will from me over the years that any time I would see their label, I’d at least pick up a book of theirs and browse through it to see if it looked worthwhile. On picking up The Clarence Principle. I found myself immediately attracted. The art was rather Scott Pilgrim /manga-y with heavy washes of dark ink (kinda like what I remember seeing in Area 88 as a kid, but much heavier). The character designs were sleek and playful and the mood was thick. So I picked it up for a lean $12.95.

Money well-spent. It’s rare that I come to the end of a book (comic or otherwise) and just lose my breath from being astounded. I sat there dumb-founded. It was a good sort of feeling—to not really know what to think. I think it had been a long time since I had been surprised.

So then, The Clarence Principle. There’s this guy, Clarence (!), who’s just committed suicide in a tub for reasons that are only ephemerally developed throughout the story. Clarence wakes up in some strange afterlife with rules and a populace he pretty much takes in stride, despite the strange horror of the whole thing. Clarence, at one point, compares his journey to Alice’s through Wonderland. Fitting, certainly. But you know how Alice in Wonderland is a pretty dark story? The Clarence Principle is like Alice in Wonderland. but dark. It’s also morbidly humourous and kept me consistently chuckling at its macabre. Until the end, that is, when I clammed up entirely and tried to let the whole thing wash over me.






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