The hey days of the comic magazine for adults, “Heavy Metal” art wise, were the 1970’s and 1980’s. You opened the then current issue of “Heavy Metal”, skipped the pretentious, wanna be “Rolling Stone” type column and reviews that were written by the then snobby up his own ass hipster editor Lou Stathis, to artwork that would explode out of the page and hit you full in the face. That art had power and one of these days I will do a post on “Heavy Metal” I have all the issues from the first one, to the most recent one. While its still good, it doesn’t reach the heights of the days of Moebius, Suydam, Corben, Druillet etc. so what does this have to do with the book “Object Compendium” by Kilian Eng? I’d say that Kilian is the heir apparent of Moebius and those old masters of abstract, dark fantasy. This book is like opening an old issue of “Heavy Metal” I want more.
The book was put out by “Floating World Comics” based out of Portland, OR. They publish underground art and comics, I highly recommend looking at what they have if your into the weird and different spectrum of art. And thank God they decided to compile Eng’s art work into books and finally all those books into one big book. The books that are compiled into this one are “Objects 5, 10 and 15” all of which ran out really fast and you can see why. Eng’s artwork is a rocket ship taking you into different, strange, dark and beautiful worlds. This actually includes work not featured in the books collected. Its nice and large, hard bound, it can also be put to practical uses like smashing spiders and throwing it at your annoying neighbor’s head when he plays Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” for the hundredth time on his shitty stereo (not speaking from experience *wink* *wink*)
I spent at least an hour perusing this book trying to drink in every strange detail. His art is cryptic, one can spend a long time looking into each picture trying to solve a puzzle. The forward, written by Chris Jalufka, says Eng really has no social media presence, good for him, if he can pull off promotion without pandering to every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally more power to him. He is Swedish and a graduate of Stockholm’s Arts and Crafts university, Konstack. He designs and does art for commissions, video games etc. Originally he wanted the “Object” books to have cryptic pictures of a fictional crime scene in a different world. He gives no narrative structure for his art he wants you to come up with your own ideas and conception of what his art is representing.
When I found out Eng’s favored choice of medium is “Digital” I was surprised. Most digital art I have encountered is flat, soul less and too clean. Eng’s isn’t. His artwork carries on the burden of Moebius and Druillet, strange, dark, puzzle worlds to get lost in. Opening this book was like when I first opened an issue of “Heavy Metal”, buxom women, explosions, violent color and weird aliens, I’d never seen anything like that in a “comic book” up until that point when I was a youngin’ which was a long time ago, get the hell off my lawn dammit! In fact, Eng has done work for the current issues of “Heavy Metal”.
I love when there is no explanation for a piece of art or a comic, you come up with a reason why something is happening in the piece in your own mind. People are going come up with tons of different interpretations: “Its symbolic”, “Its psychological”, “Its nonsensical”, “Its beautiful”, “Its stupid”, “Its ugly” etc. Eng forces you to do that with his pieces.
This visual white noise is worth de scrambling. And if your a fan of the old “Heavy Metal” Moebius you should most definitely pick this up. Eng gives me hope for the future of art, a lot of young artists who are coming up are combining the old with the new. I discovered this artist combing “Floating Comics” web page looking for stuff to burn all the money in my bank account. All the “Object” books were out of print at the time and I went on ebay and got “Object 10” to find out that all the books were gonna be released in “Object Compendium”. One of these days I will put “10” up on ebay for collectors. Anyways to find out more about Eng’s work go to his instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/kilianeng/?hl=en
Here is where to buy it: https://floatingworldcomics.com/shop/art-books/object-compendium-works-by-kilian-eng-preorder