Someone sits across from you on the bus or at the bar. Walking down the street, you pass by that certain someone in the neighborhood who has always seems “off” to you in some way. As you intersect, just as the opportunity has all but diminished, you glance up to see them inspecting you out of more than just the corner of their eye. There is always that person. That person that views the world the same as you, but maybe the details are what doesn’t match up, or they are catching something you chose not to notice. That’s the feeling Milk for the Ugly elicited from me. Then again, who’s to say that’s what it wants.
DeviantArt members Anna Podeworna and Kate Redesiuk have used the motion comic technology Motion Book Tool to bring an eerie and elegant piece of art to life.
We follow an afternoon of elderly Mrs. Abney doing what, as a reader, you could assume is a fairly common day for her. Common for some is completely abstract and abnormal for those that live in different circumstances. Judgment can come easy from either side, as long as they have the conviction in their hearts to know that they know best. Someone viewing Mrs. Abney spending an exorbitant amount of time next to a dumpster, sweeping a rotten apple core into a dustpan, may be of the opinion that she is senile or insane. That she is speaking to it may just be the icing on the cake that tips the scales in favor of insanity. Then again, there are those that may not get her, but are happy in the knowledge that she’s out there, making the world a more interesting place. Others get her completely, because they know what she knows . . . even if they don’t.
You may never have seen it, as it’s very chic these days to not have cable or a point of pride to say, “I don’t even own a television,” but dollars to donuts says even if you’ve never viewed it or heard of it, you are probably aware that there are people in the
world referred to as, “hoarders.” It seems there are so many, that a television network can base an entire program to exploit them.
Each week a hoarder has an intervention and is made to come to terms with their situation. Hoarding ranges from one thing to another, one man’s trash and all that, but for some reason it’s primarily newspapers. Stacks and stacks from decades past, chronicling events gone by, presidents shot, elections won, war torn tragedies, and Labor Day weekend mattress sales. The other main thing hoarded is cats. Tabbies and Calicoes that live in filth and fight for food more and more as additions are added to the pride. It isn’t always cats, of course. A
stray of any kind can be coerced, with the right motivation, to be a pet. Some may not pets per sé, but ‘responsibilities’ that need taken
care of, in one way or another.
When the man comes a knockin’, you better answer the door. The knockin’ and a ringin’ and mailin’ won’t end till you do. Best to step up and face what’s on it’s way. Especially when it’s Social Services coming to tell you that there are so many complaints about the smell and noise from your home that it’s either shape up (clean up) or ship out.
To not ruin the experience, I’ll stop there on the descriptions. Beyond being creepy, it makes you second guess which side of the mirror you
decide to view through.
Not just the use of the motion capabilities, but the soundtrack and foley work bring this work together completely. There are certain pages that are ‘still’ frames that can be viewed from slightly different angles as you roll your mouse this way or that. Those took me as a disconnect from the story I was invested in. If you caught some detail that wouldn’t have been noticed without having shifted the frame, I would see it as a more valuable tool. Otherwise, the minimal motion throughout the overall book adds nicely to that “what’s around the corner” feeling the piece conveys.
For those non-hipsters that still have TVs, you can most certainly see the comparison of hoarding. For those who have more H&M scarves than a graveyard has corpses, well, you will have to use your imagination.
Either way, go to www.deviantart.com and check out Milk for the Ugly.
You can thank me later.