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Off Topic: Hedra's astonishing page layouts revel in their giddy sense of invention


My copy of Hedra is a wonderfully odd thing. It's tabloid size, and it's printed on newspaper and has no staples. It feels a bit like an old student magazine. Inside, it is sheer poise and artistry and imagination.

I first read about Hedra in a Polygon article back in 2020. A one-shot comic book with an astonishing visual conceit: each page is based around an arrangement of 35 panels - five by seven. Wordlessly, these panels come together to tell a story that spans the galaxy.

Since I don't know enough about comics, my impressions of Hedra are completely free of context. I had to buy it on Etsy, I think, and it came with a copy number stamped on the back - 0880 - and a lovely postcard with a thank-you note from the author - Jesse Lonergan. Because it's tabloid size, it can be slightly awkward to read: I need to spread it out in front of me and then lean forward, into the art. A nice consequence of this is that Hedra always has my full attention. It becomes panoramic. It fills my entire field of vision.

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