Capacity by Theo Ellsworth

Capacity
by Theo Ellsworth
Secret Acres, 2010

Most minicomics are never granted a compilation reprint, but most minicomics aren’t like Capacity. Ellsworth has produced a unique story, simultaneously simple and intricate, which details how he trained himself to bargain with his subconscious to allow him to remember his extraordinary dreams without going mad.

The original seven issues are framed by a story in which you, the reader, have been projected into the story, wearing an odd disguise and with blank lines in the dialogue for you to write your own name in. Ellsworth narrates the stories himself, with a mysterious feather-covered monster, a shrieking blinded clown doll and a slightly annoying creature named Birdikins.

The artwork is both crude and extremely detailed, full of fantastic structures and bizarre creatures, like a mixture of Brian Froud and David Mitchell from The 3Ds. Much of the story is set in Ellsworth’s head, or details how hard it is to harness dreams creatively. It’s spooky, fiercely imaginative and frequently inspiring, if you’ve ever tried to undertake a massive artistic project without quite knowing why.

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2 Responses to “Capacity by Theo Ellsworth”

  1. Grant – after reading through a number of your recent reviews today I can only say that our Wellington library records would look like carbon copies if put side by side. From now on, any time I miss out on something that has been recently shelved, I now know I can place you in the shadowy gap I would otherwise direct my resentment.

  2. Why, thank you, Travis!

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