• Steven Heller

The Daily Heller: Isolation, Separation, Lamentation, Liberation, Excitation, Strange Vibration

Have you ever woken up from a dream … or worse, a nightmare? You are most often discombobulated and disoriented. Where am I? Where was I? Who, what, where?

Winsor McKay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" was the perfect evocation of that unsettling sensation, culminating in Little Nemo falling out of bed. Rude awakening. Morning reckoning.

Throughout the pandemic, Mirko Ilic has evoked his own emotional spectrum (light to dark) through a continuous series of sequential images. The first one below, "Little Mirko in COVID Land," so clearly expresses the common angst—a universal feeling of, at once, isolation, separation, lamentation, liberation and, now, the undefinably discomfiting excitation of being released back into a (hopefully) COVID-free world.

When lifestyles radically change—and that is one result of the 2020–2021 pandemic year—it takes time and mental agility to readjust. Ilic's strips are vividly sublime descriptions of that range of emotions we've all experienced, and may continue to feel, for considerable time still to come.