Connoisseurs of cool comic books likely know the unmistakable neo-psychedelic style of Hamilton, ON graphic artist Jesse Jacobs. Precise and geometric, sympathetic with a hint of the sinister, surrealist with a dubious dash of profundity, a carefully controlled clash of hyper-saturated colours (the fabled “rainbow in the dark” of which Ronnie James Dio sang).
Due out this fall is Spinch, a video game that plunges the player into a vivid interactive iteration of Jacobs’ intense imagination, boosting his imagery with an injection of sound, motion, and reactivity. Jacob’s describes it as an “ecosystem”, and it promises to be full of all kinds of things to see and do (and fail at), and more yet to love, fear, and maybe eat. We’ll see when the time comes.
Arriving a few weeks ahead of the game’s release on September 3 is its soundtrack, the work of Thesis Sahib – the musical alias of multidisciplinary London, ON artist James Kirkpatrick, no stranger to chiptunes, circuit-bent toys, and banging out beats. A fair chunk of the material here is crunchy, 8-bit battle jams and danger-zone themes in the classic console-game style. Fun enough, if a bit reckless and overly ambitious at times. On the other hand, pieces like the beautiful opening theme “New Ecology”, the hyperactive, pumping “Forest Masters (World 3)”, and the poignant, penultimate “Before the End”, are the moments that sound most in harmony with Jacob’s visual expression – luminous, inviting, pulsating with strange life.