Open every illuminated correspondence between two star-crossed artists yet to meet - and discover a dizzying, dazzling almost love story.
The 2018 Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies sixth annual Cartoonist Studio Prize winner for Best Print Comic, the Academic Hour charts the romance between Poethel, a disgraced architecture professor, and his student, Liana. Told in a series of surreal, vibrant vignettes, and set in a fantastic, logic-defying college of shifting rooms and secret performance spaces, the Academic Hour affirms how an intense, fledgling relationship can ignite the impulse for storytelling with unbridled, ferocious creative energy.
"Katz’s work, like that of Matthew Barney or Mika Rottenberg, has its own logic. Her storytelling voice seems to link the divine nonsense of authors like Daniel Pinkwater, William Steig, or Edward Gorey with surrealist writers like Leonora Carrington. Her comics are Truly Weird, the highest compliment I can give. With drawings executed in confident colored pencil, her figures stretch, bend, and topple in a manner reminiscent of contemporary choreography." – Artsy
"The book is so rich in strange images that attempting to square them all with specific symbolic meaning seems fraught and silly, and perhaps would lead to misguided conclusions: The talk of a growing pencil, for instance, which comes up a few times, could refer to an erection as an instrument of will and agency, but suggests an argument that true agency for a woman comes not through her sexuality but through acts of writing or drawing. How can a young woman argue with the swelling cock of an older man positioned in power, if not through telling her story?" – The Comics Journal
"The Academic Hour is a slew of contradictions wrapped up together; it is as delicate as it is intense, as heartbroken as it is joyous. The Academic Hour is one of the most complex, beautiful, and puzzling comics I’ve read in years. It’s a must read, and likely one of the strongest comics published so far in 2017." – Sequential State
"It’s safe to say that children in grade school can’t illustrate images this impressive, but still, these Keren Katz renderings have a certain unrefined quality to them that’s evocative of kids’ drawings. This is, of course, a conscious design choice as Katz’s style stands out immensely amidst a sea of computer-generated artistry. Her penchant for leaving things not perfectly colored, her exaggerated human proportions and the overall whimsy of the scenes she depicts are things that make her work endlessly interesting to examine." – Trendhunter