Eroyn Franklin’s “Another Glorious Day in the Nothing Factory,” is an art book that could also be labeled a “graphic novel.” In fact, let’s call it that and get the word out on this amazing work packed with so much poetic observation and dazzling art all done with cut paper. It speaks to every artist, every young person for that matter, who, after a hard fought struggle to take the offbeat path, inevitably is entangled in the realities of conventional life. Disillusionment sets in. Despair finds a home. And a rethinking takes places on how it all went terribly wrong, or simply went terribly.
For Franklin, her story, whether autobiographical, fictional, or a combination of the two, rings true for artists and those not so inclined. It’s as much about the pitfalls of life as it is about the artistic journey. But, as an artist myself, I relate well to the parts about balancing life with art. As if engaging in performance art, Franklin’s main character in the book jumps into a marriage. It is full of wonder and adventure, at the very beginning, so it is hard to blame her. But, that excitement wears off quickly once the happy couple’s feet land on firm ground. Like it not, they come to realize they have just become each other’s starter partner and it is unlikely they will be able to maintain the relationship.
There is no denying the love and lust they shared. Franklin documents it. She lets us in to her world and like a good artist, like a good poet, she distills what we need to know. There is no denying the problems in the relationship. Franklin documents it. She gives us the information we need. What she doesn’t do is spell it right out for you. Instead, she keeps her prose lean, more like poetry, with elevated and ethereal language. After awhile, you may wish everyone communicated this way, along with the elegant cut out artwork.
In not saying everything, she tells us so much more. Here, her past fading, her future uncertain:
It’s not just the husband, everything that once was is dissipating. My former life slowly fades into the background until it is gone altogether. I’m left fumbling through the emptiness, playing hide-and-seek with the wind.
The book ultimately ends on a somewhat upbeat note, with an artist’s resistance to tie a perfectly pretty knot. You should really seek this book out. I would recommend hunting for it at your nearby independent bookstore. Ask them to order it for you, if they don’t have it in stock. Or, by all means, stop by and visit Eroyn at her site: http://eroynfranklin.com/ This book was made possible by support from the Xeric Foundation and Allied Arts. It is 216 pages, a numbered edition of 1,000 copies. $25 US.