In the Flesh: Stories

Villard Books

Author: Koren Shadmi

Release Date: Out now


160 pages

ISBN: 978-0-3455-0871-3

ICv2 Stars: 4 out of 5


This surreal set of stories about sex and love has a number of very powerful and disturbing images… women with detachable heads, men with cameras on top of their necks, and a host of others.  Unlike some artists, Koren Shadmi has managed to weave these disturbing images into mostly-coherent stories about love, both physical and metaphorical. Some stories, like “The Fun Lawn,” are about loneliness, and how that condition can be victimized.  Others like “Radioactive Girlfriend” are about the destructive power of needing the wrong person in your life.


There is a theme running through much of the collection, with characters whose heads are removable, inanimate objects, or masked.  Perhaps it has to do with the ways in which our brains take a back seat to our physical reactions about sex and love?  Or perhaps Koren Shadmi just doesn’t like drawing faces, although he seems to be good at creating expressive ones.  The black-and-white artwork is filled with interesting shading effects and panel shapes that are a bit outside the usual box, but nothing too outrageous.


The nudity and sexuality, especially in some very warped and twisted scenes, makes this volume one adults-only, which is also the audience for the mature stories.


-- Nick Smith