In both literary form and artistic style, Nilsen may be the most protean talent in comics. He’s done existentialist fables in spare yet detailed comics realism (Dogs and Water, 2004; Big Questions, 2011); Beckettian dramatic musings in a scribbly sketchbook manner (Monologues for the Coming Plague, 2006); and poignant memoirs in mixed media (Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, 2012). In his latest collection—six variations on Greek, Roman, and Hebrew myths and a single-panel serious joke mixing Greek and Christian deities—he ventures into yet another manner: black-and-white silhouette. Each panel on the more than 40-foot accordion-fold page contains a single image over text. Sometimes the figures are black and the background white; sometimes vice versa. The figures are as crisp as shadows cast by very bright light—altogether, quite urbane and polished work. Nilsen takes indulgent liberties when contemporizing stories of aftermaths (Poseidon after being shown up by Odysseus, Prometheus as he suffers eternally) and previously untold complications (Leda postcoitus, God during the Flood), but the comic overtones mask a profound undercurrent of frustration and powerlessness. --Ray Olson
Praise for Anders Nilsen "["Big Questions "is] a sprawling, uncanny work about fate and death whose stakes spiral upward while its scope remains confined to a few small creatures' territory." --"The New York Times ""Nilsen offers an expansive, imaginative anthropomorphic tour de force . . . in this beautiful, elegiac saga." --"The Miami Herald"