“The woman outside of time, who can have no permanent residence, a time traveler who realizes the gravity and tyranny of the clock.”
Interdimensional Explorer Girl is a comic book based entirely on a dream. In its surprisingly linear narrative, an adventurous dimension-hopper toys with the idea of setting down roots and struggles with the beautiful and terrible consequences of attachment. The original art was done in an experimental diorama style using layers of cardboard, wax paper, and acrylic paint. Each page was then photographed with a light source behind it to create an ambient sky in certain panels. Everything was done as analog as possible –– no digital enhancements or manipulations.
“With Interdimensional Explorer Girl Eden Chubb created a wondrous work of art that is both startling and brilliant. The elusive magic of a five-year-old dream comes to life under her skillful hand. At its most fervent, IDEG is a blending of Dr. Strange and The Wizard of OZ, except this Dorothy can leave Kansas or OZ at will, and has super powers. IDEG is a wonderful tale of a woman just outside of time. Because of her restless nature she can never set down roots. But in the course of the tale she is tempted to do so, but it comes to nothing, as she wades through an ocean of time as she travels, which renders her visitations a brief sojourn, as those she visits age years between visits. The realization of this certainty weighs heavily on the heroine, and the only way to make peace with that reality is to travel, and that she does.
The execution of the book is eye catching and beautifully done. Chubb combined both comic book art and at the same time the look of a story book. Also, using cardboard as a basis for the artwork gave the entire look of the book as something ancient. And thanks to the heavy card stock the comic is printed on it almost takes on the look of a reliquary.
There is a depth to the artwork that is totally engaging to the reader. This isn’t the digital machinations of CGI but an organic outpouring of creativity by a woman who knows her craft. Though the story is short it seems longer than it is. There is so much to look at, and I love the way she plays with time, space and movement. Consider pages 4 through 5; IDEG is in a long hallway leading to a set of doors that are the portal to another dimension. This for me brings to mind two masters of the medium, Jim Steranko and the comic artist that inspired him, Bernie Krigstein. These two pages convey the magnitude of the heroine’s journeys; always between worlds. There is a reason why comics are referred to as the “sequential art”, and these two pages, pardon the pun, illustrates this beautifully. There is the splash panel on page 4; IDEG facing the doorway, the depth of this panel is so great you can almost feel yourself there with her. Page 5 continues this sense of depth and movement as IDEG walks down the corridor to the portal. The first three panels on page 6 is coda to the aforementioned, as IDEG finds her teddy bear, Snowy, lying in the hallway. With those three panels Chubb depicts a rich poignancy of the character; finding an artifact of her life that shouldn’t be there, and embracing it lovingly.
As far as I’m concerned we are in the digital age of comics. Thanks to a myriad choice of computer based drawing programs; some of them specifically geared to comics production, it is extremely refreshing to have someone go purely organic in what I consider one of the greatest storytelling mediums ever created.” -Review by Eric Paul Joseph, Research Archivist at Xavier University Library