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Kate Lacour’s Vivisectionary is a boundlessly inventive feast of single page sequential images that illustrate these and many other marvelous, hideous, enigmatic physiological mysteries—a visual guide to the intimate workings of impossible biologies, told through a series of scientific diagrams and tableaux. The coldness of scientific charts alternates with raw and intimate imagery, exploring a world where hummingbirds can be parasites, where feces can be transformed into brain tissue or gemstones. Part comic art, part textbook, Vivisectionary blends sex, religion, science, and body horror, with an eye to the sublime and the grotesque.
Each chapter is organized around a topic of imaginative psuedoscience, such as animals, childbirth, gender, drugs, self-mutilation, and sex. Each comics sequence is stitched together (pun intended) by a narrative thread that forms a strange and mesmerizing voyage through the body. Illustrations of developing embryos, varieties of animal sperm, reptile feeding phases and hands representing the systems of the human body alternately clarify and obscure the meaning of each comics page. Readers willing to undertake Vivisectionary’s bizarre journey will find themselves transported to a realm of discovery, degradation, and transformation.