Richard McGuire's comic Here appeared in Raw Magazine in 1989 and was quickly seen as a transformative work that expanded the possibilities of the comic medium. It is a work that has influenced two decades of comics art.
Now comes an astonishing elaboration of McGuire’s original concept—the story of a corner of a room and of what happens in that space over time. The book experiments with formal properties of comics, using multiple panels to convey different moments in the narrative. Hundreds of thousands of years become interwoven. A dinosaur from 100,000,000 BCE lumbers by, while a child is playing with a plastic toy that resembles the same dinosaur in the year 1999. Conversations appear to be happening between two people who are centuries apart. Someone asking, "Anyone seen my car keys?" can be "answered" by someone at a future archaeology dig. Cycles of glaciers transform into marshes, then into forests, then into farmland. A city develops and grows into a suburban sprawl. Climate change causes the land to submerge, if only temporarily, for the long view reveals the transient nature of all things. Meanwhile, the attention is focused on the most ordinary moments and appreciating them as the most transcendent. From one of the great comic innovators, Here is the long-awaited fulfillment of a pioneering comic vision.
"Expanding on an influential piece that first appeared in Raw in 1989, McGuire, best known for his illustrated children’s books, explores a single patch of land (apparently in Perth Amboy, N.J.) over the course of millions of years…. The flat, hard lines produce art that looks like an approximation of Edward Hopper’s clean bright paintings, created on an outdated computer program. McGuire threads miniplots and knowing references through his hopscotch narrative, building up a head of steam that’s almost overwhelmingly poignant. His masterful sense of time and the power of the mundane makes this feel like the graphic novel equivalent of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Later spreads flash with terrible and ancient supremacy, impending cataclysm, and distant, verdant renaissance, then slow to inevitable, irresistible conclusion. The muted colors and soft pencils further blur individual moments into a rich, eons-spanning whole. A gorgeous symphony." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Getting from here to there can be hard enough. But it has taken Richard McGuire 25 years to do something even more complicated: get form here to here. . . . The book promises to leapfrog immediately to the front ranks of the graphic-novel genre." —The New York Times