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books

Brian Chippendale’s Puke Force

Page from Brian Chippendale’s Puke Force (Drawn & Quarterly, 2015).

Puke Force, by Brian Chippendale. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2015. 120 pages.

NOISE IS IN THE EAR OF THE BEHOLDER—a “catchall phrase for overwhelming stuff with abstract elements or ‘energy,’ elements involving harsher tendencies,” as Brian Chippendale said in a 2012 interview with The Believer. Noise, as a category and a descriptor, is frequently used to characterize Chippendale’s music: the pummeling drum lines and incoherent vocals of the two-man band Lightning Bolt. But it’s in the eye of the beholder, too: The term is often deployed as a shorthand description of the style of his comics, in which thickets of panels are populated with feral, densely composed drawings.

Chippendale’s latest book, Puke Force, shows the hallmark of his music making, its hyperactivity and intensity: Each panel abounds with scratched-out hatch marks that indicate surfaces but also come to function

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