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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
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heavy tragi-comics
Heavy Tragi-Comics
Only Printing / June 1971 / 28 pages / The Print Mint
Light Comitragies, a comic book commonly known as Light, is one of those comics that demonstrates the late Greg Irons extraordinary virtuosity with pen, ink and color, and provides the strongest foreshadowing of his future (all-too-brief) career as a tattoo artist.

Light is not your standard comic book, as half the book seems to be comprised of a storyboard for an animation project and the other half appears to be a mini-portfolio of Irons' illustration. But these two halves are melded together with a transition that fuses them into one elaborate narrative. Light also marks one of the first comic book collaborations between writer Tom Veitch and artist Greg Irons, which is no small event considering the extraordinary body of work they would produce over the next few years.

Light begins with a simple illustration and a brief quote from Veitch's free-association The Luis Armed Story (1965), which set the stage for the incendiary "chain reaction" mutations that follow. The wordless drawings build upon each other sequentially, with psychedelic images cascading out of a human head as if portraying a mind-blowing acid trip, growing more complex until the metamorphosis completely envelopes the head. The progression of images grow darker and more ominous as they lead up to the center spread, where a nuclear cloud punctuates a gruesome nightmare of human carnage, aloofly surveyed by amused political leaders (and the Grim Reaper). The next spread isolates the Grim Reaper on a fierce red background, as if all life has been obliterated in a fiery holocaust.

The next series of images portray symbols of menace, conflict and death, growing more monstrous towards the end of the book until another spread depicts an apparition of celestial demons who seem to be rejoicing in victory. The book ends with a defeated, ashen pile of human bones, characterizing the bleak outcome of worldwide war, commemorated by a single red rose stuck into a broken skull.

Light Comitragies is a dismal allegory of the irrevocable consequences of war and nuclear weapons, brilliantly illustrated by Irons. The opening sequence of drawings demonstrate Irons ability to create iconic images, which would serve him well as he built a new career in designing tattoos. Tragically, Irons was killed in Bangkok, Thailand in November, 1984, when he was struck by a bus. He was only 37 years old.
The Print Mint produced approximately 20,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted
. Veitch's The Luis Armed Story, briefly excerpted in the book on the inside back cover, was first published in Germany in 1965 and considered an avant-garde masterpiece at the time. It is a novel chronicling the "Armed family's strange quest for spiritual salvation, cosmic truth and chili con carne across the Americas."

Greg Irons - 1-3, 4 (art), 5-13, 14-15 (art), 16-17, 18 (collaboration), 19-26, 28
Tom Veitch - 4 (script), 14-15 (script), 27 (excerpt from The Luis Armed Story)
Dave Sheridan - 18 (collaboration)