Human Hymenoptera

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Copyright © 2006 Coltrane Productions.
All rights reserved.

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Mona Lisa's 1,000 Words

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He sees a pillow, feels a cast
around his mouth, coated and vast
with cells of oxygen that drench
the pores of skin and of the bench.
He sits up and yawns, nothing comes out;
he takes a deep breath and tries to shout.
He clutches the mattress of his bed.
His mouth is hanging above his head.
Like piano keys, teeth fit in place
and straighten along an empty face.
The mouth stutters and struggles to talk.
It chokes on small sediments of chalk.
Through the teeth, thick liquid words drip
and fill the cracks of dried-out lips.

One creature... a biped hymenoptera... a spider, a brain, a mouth on the wall... existence is confusing, tough, and brutal. Wakefulness blends into unconsciousness blends into nothingness. What is? Who am I? Where am I? Why?

ISBN 1-932295-12-7
Text and art by Mike Kulina
Artist Mike Kulina explores a strange, surreal world and the questions and challenges its inhabitants must face in his first graphic novel, Human Hymenoptera. A culmination of two years of creative effort, this volume includes dozens of detailed illustrations painting a stark portrait of a world gone mad, accompanied by a poetic narrative that draws the reader into the madness.

Through evocative metaphor juxtaposed with intense drawings, Mike takes his audience on a dark whirlwind exploration through a world without reason, where heartless cruelty is met with stony indifference and the inhabitants must find their way without heroes or hope. For some, insanity descends like a dark cloud, while others accept their lot with stoic resignation.

One lone creature, awakened from the darkness, is set to work as just one cog in the machine. His cog is to deliver envelopes by sliding them under doors, without asking for whom or why. But even in being told to not ask, his head fills with wonder and curiosity... and the pursuit of the mystery, rising above the machine to become individual, ultimately gives him his humanity but also leads him to his downfall.

"Human Hymenoptera is a wonderful introduction to the mad, mad world of Mike Kulina. Anyone looking for a vacation from reality should look no further than his vision of magnificent desolation." -The Daily Athenaeum