A young woman undertakes a Dantean journey into the center of her psyche. Every door she encounters opens labyrinthine viewing galleries, macabre installtions, and occult rituals where nothing is as it seems. Answers lead to more questions. She must abandon her false self - through despair and self-surrender - on the way to an encounter with the inner void. Houses of the Holy is a nightmarish vision of the timeless psychic struggle that makes us human.
Praise for Houses of the Holy:
"On her walk through a landscape equal parts wonder and despair, Skaalrud’s protagonist endures a series of trials, confronts haunting memories, and grapples with what seems like a constantly-escalating level of insanity. She also strips away her childhood innocence, accrues her tokens of power, and engineers her own rebirth.
An evocative journey through pain and torment, Houses Of The Holy is traumatic and defiant; raw like a cut that refuses to heal. It’s also transformative and magical, and the most wonderful reading experience I’ve had in what feels like years. Read More: Why You Should Visit Caitlin Skaalrud's 'Houses Of The Holy' —John R. Parker, ComicsAlliance
"Skaalrud’s drawing is so sharp and visceral […] It’s the mind and body laid bare to itself and the reader, representing childhood in the form of the bow in her hair and adulthood in the form of the trials faced." —Foxing Quarterly
"It’s a mysterious presentation and, honestly, kind of exciting — a two-dimensional art installation skillfully rendered in real world terms as well as the figurative ones it portrays. In this way, Skaalrud’s book is a triumph and not like anything else." —John Seven, Vermicious
“One of the best mini-comics of 2013.” —Rob Clough, High Low Comics
maybe you didn't see Houses Of The Holy, that came out last year from Uncivilized Books. if so, get it. Caitlin bleeds comics, and she proves it with this amazing new 44 page zine, HOW TO MAKE COMICS. it's instructional in the same sense that jumping off a cliff can potentially teach you valuable lessons about falling, only not depressing. sort of. what a beautiful, sublime little book. 44 pages, red ink on newsprint.
“It's an all-splash comic, just like that one issue of Thor, but Skaalrud's use of the technique is to draw sharp distinctions between the images she draws and the sparse captions and word balloons pasted on top, the two planes of narrative only sometimes lining up with one another. The text is a continuous poetic exhortation on the sacrifices and necessities of art-making ("LEARN THE COPPER TASTE OF HUNGER"), while the pictures shift from the observational to the allegorical, with enough in the way of recurring imagery to suggest a discreet, achronological narrative of their own, relating to the domestic life of "Caitlin" - the story's protagonist and possible narrator, possibly remembering herself from some misty place in the future, or perhaps projecting a means of order (text) onto the riot of life (image). The act of reading it, compact as it is, coaxes what feel like intuitive connections, as if a demonstration of the artist's synapses firing - a strong marshaling of form.”