I picked up Brain Fetish by Kinga Korska under the proviso that it had something to do with brains, boobs, or both, a classic case of judging a book by its cover. In a way, I wasn’t wrong.
Kinga Korska, a Polish writer and artist living in Dublin, has given us a remarkably candid book on relationships, philosophy, and psychology. Even without addressing the story, we already have a quick-read textbook on how to have better relationships in your life, through careful examination of how we communicate, and why people say certain things. It’s an incredibly wise book, proving Korska’s wealth of wisdom well beyond her years. But it’s more than a textbook. This is a novel, filled with love and humour and the incredible intricacies of human relationships.
I first met Kinga at the inaugural Geek Mart in Dublin, shortly after I got my hands on her book. She arrived with a table’s worth of books and magnets, dressed in full cosplay despite the heat. Memory recalls that she was a steampunk Alice Madness. She was witty and charming, and she sold her book well to prospective customers through sheet force of character. Understanding Kinga is a good way to understand her book; both come equipped with refreshing honesty and a wicked sense of humour.
Even in dealing with such a complicated theme – people are the most complicated thing that most of us will encounter in our lives, pending alien invasion or supernatural apocalypse – and through a complex style, with a detailed, continuous narrative, Korska makes the subject matter easy to understand. In a manner of contradictions, Korska paints this difficult story and teaches a powerful message all through the use of black-and-white artwork; rarely grey-scale, simplistic (albeit consistent) in style, and whole capable of illustrating a point. Few artists can embrace simplicity the way Korska does while simultaneously addressing an incredibly deep narrative.
This is a raw book, and may leave some readers feeling uncomfortable with how they once thought about others, but it represents an important aspect of comics and their power to shape the world and those of us lucky enough to share it at this moment in time.