104 pages, 9” x 6.75” paperback with color cover & color interiors.
Strong Eye Contact stars an unnamed immigrant and aspiring comedian as he tries to make his way in America. It is a BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2014 Notable title, selected by Bill Kartalopoulos.
Part comic strip collection, part art book, the reader is led by this quixotic, Buster Keaton-like figure through a kaleidoscope of crystalline memory fragments, he tries, with limited success, to be a typical American: using consumer products, failed vacations, and fabricated family life.
Using mediums often associated with childhood mark-making (crayons, colored pens, markers) gives the book a simplistic sheen that belies the formal sophistication operating just beneath the surface. This day to day saga is wet and alive; landscapes pop with mountainous close-ups, cacti, abstracted-patterns, confusion, vast empty spaces and gaps – cartooning as a potent puzzle where the strangest magic happens inside the reader’s mind.
PRAISE FOR STRONG EYE CONTACT!!
…Adams takes [comics] further, deconstructing linear storytelling and blurring the line between wakefulness and dreaming.
There’s a vividness to each image that speaks to Adams’ background as a painter [while t]he way that he “rhymes” images back and forth speaks to his background as a musician; each strip very much feels like the verse of a song…
This is the graphic novel as abstract expressionism … at once disorienting and mesmerizing…
This is one of the most unique, ‘no similarities to any other working cartoonist whatsoever,’ totally out of left field books I’ve come across in a while.
I like this Strong Eye Contact thing… LOL. Fucking weird [a]nd quite pretty.
Rarely have magic markers worked such luminous brilliance.
Weird, imaginative, and raw. Adams creates a textural experience leading you through the follies of his character’s life.
A bloody Q-tip, the crumbs of a waffle and an airplane on fire…it all comes together with Christopher’s unique drawing system. Is the comedian dreaming or is the comedy a dream?
Like a Mr. Hulot transposed into the America of soft-serve and mini-golf, Adams’ comedian is a normal guy trying to deal with work and relaxation in a landscape of perplexing patterns.