Fresh off the European leg of his WTF Summer Tour, local artist Bwana Spoons will be stopping through Grass Hut to celebrate the release of his first book, Welcome to Forest Island. Aside from his role as part-owner of Grass Hut Gallery and his design work for apparel companies like Dekline and Select, Spoons is continuously developing an imagined world of characters, which he renders into paintings, comic strips, and limited-edition vinyl toys.
Spoons' book—a shuffling of comic strips and zoomed-in full-page paintings—explores this imagined cast of characters and their home, Forest Island. Opening on a cross-dressing hobo and quickly ushering in the cornerstone characters, a bat named Steven and a four-legged whale named Killer, a series of narratives and interactions are introduced and revisited throughout the manic review of Spoons' fantasy world.
As other inhabitants of Forest Island are briefly brought into focus—like a gator named Edward who tries to catch butterflies with a broken net—the book reads like a camera panning through the many nooks and perspectives available on Forest Island.
Though it isn't clear if a linear plot was intended, the final pages of the book show an image of Killer and Steven romping through fiery neon and pastel space-hills, Steven painted with his heart glowing through his chest. In the end, Spoons' characters receive a little back story, their pictographic mythology finally collected in a collectible—though the book never tells us why Steven's heart glows. Maybe Spoons' next book will inform the mystery.