Strong Eye Contact
Christopher Adams

104 pages
9 × 6.75 inches
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.

    ...Adams takes [comics] further, deconstructing linear storytelling and blurring the line between wakefulness and dreaming. Panel Patter

    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... Rob Clough

    This is the graphic novel as abstract expressionism ... at once disorienting and mesmerizing... Indie Reader

    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.
    — Austin English

    I like this Strong Eye Contact thing... LOL. Fucking weird [a]nd quite pretty.
    — Simon Hanselmann

    Rarely have magic markers worked such luminous brilliance.
    — Matt Seneca

    Weird, imaginative, and raw. Adams creates a textural experience leading you through the follies of his character's life.
    — Aidan Koch

    A bloody Q-tip, the crumbs of a waffle and an airplane on all comes together with Christopher's unique drawing system. Is the comedian dreaming or is the comedy a dream?
    — Eamon Espey

    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.
    — Matthew Thurber