Comic, Aisha Franz, 24 pgs, Nieves, nieves.ch
Spas. We all need to go to one, but nobody’s got the time or money for that. Thankfully, Aisha Franz, the German artist behind Earthling and the forthcoming Shit is Real presents the ultimate solution: a spa for your pocket, a collection of Mobile Treatments.
Mobile Treatments is a quick read , with each page of the zine being a new and separate treatment for its downtrodden and spa-requiring protagonist. Relax in the steam room with earshaped chairs. Poke, rub, pet, knead, fold, stretch, and press your body. Sweat. Sweat more. Get a massage, hold that pose. Franz captures the unspoken and ridiculous elements of the spa experience, with each of the treatments undertaken by the nameless protagonist appearing just as uncomfortable as it is relaxing. It’s a mad dash to relax, the entire experience itself looking more stressful than whatever it may have been that drove one to the spa in the first place. It’s brief and hilarious. The exact opposite of the long and serious (err… relaxing…) experience that is going to the spa. Why sit in mud when you can pull Mobile Treatments out of your pocket. Why get a massage when you can flip through pages. It’s zine therapy. I’ve never felt better. (Graham Sigurdson)
disappear. I could turn the handle on the blinds and put out the light.”
A significant portion of the comic also features his mother, and in later sections, Karemaker’s partner, Priscilla. The comic showcases the potential for family to be fundamental in combating feelings of alienation. Karemaker recalls picnicking with his mom at lunch: “she arrived early and set up the picnic with my younger brother[.] She knew that I was in need of some kind of sanctuary and she provided it for me there, in the grass.” Karemaker’s comic draws together an intersection between the vastness of our spaces, the experience of alienation, and the comfort we build within them. Overall, Feast of Fields represents the deftness of a great writer and illustrator to translate highly personal anecdotes into a valuable reading experience. A truly great read and a promising start to this autobiographical comic series. (Jean Mathew)