Howard Hardiman’s Polaroids From Other Lives: Volume 2.
Polaroids From Other Lives: Volume 2
by Howard Hardiman
Howard’s Polaroids series continues with the idea of writing a series of imagined autobiographies; detailing snatches of other people’s lives. These are very short comics (just 12 pages here), mere fragments of a tale, more akin to illustrated poetry than actual comics. But within the small page count Howard’s created a very emotive and painful story.
This issue sees him imagining the aftermath of a sexual assault in a nightclub and the victim’s thoughts and actions following the assualt. Just like the first volume where Howard imagined his life in the aftermath of a death of his beautiful wife’s death, this is an emotional and bleak piece but this is much, much darker. It’s almost voyeuristic in the way Howard brings the reader into the story, allowing us to hear the thought processes of the victim as he struggles to deal with what has happened and what he should do next. It’s painful, emotive stuff with Howard getting inside the victim’s head, dealing with all of the self-doubt, the guilt, the self-loathing that comes in the wake of something so hideous. And in doing that so well, he’s forcing you to imagine, with all the horror it entails, what you’d do in the circumstance – how strong would you be? Powerfully done.
It’s a departure for Howard in his art as well. This is the first time he’s produced anything digitally. From Badger through to the first Polaroids, his art was always obviously hand-drawn; rough, loose and very organic. But the transition to digital hasn’t taken much of the fine line and the looseness away. It’s used sparingly, but efficiently, adding depth and solidity to some pages whilst allowing others to retain the almost sketchy feel of his work. I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops this style of work and think it bodes very well for his future work.
Like the first volume, Polaroids Volume 2 isn’t some light, breezy thing. It’s an artist asking very painful and emotive questions of himself and his audience and getting better and better as he does so.
Buy Polaroids Volume 2 form Howard’s shop. It’s also got the first volume and the ever lovely Badger on there. And of course, you should all be following the ongoing webcomic adventures of Badger as well on the Cute But Sad website..