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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Perception by J.A. McGovern and the Perception Team is a compilation of original work that covers a vast array of topics and diversity in media styles. While McGovern has collated the pieces into a single volume and has made sharing it possible, and accessible to the public, the contributors whose work is included are multiple. Each piece is unique and while collaboratively they absolutely fit together beautifully, they are completely individual, which means the book can be consumed with each piece as a stand-alone. This allows for a comfortable and full digestion. Examples of the work include, but are definitely not limited to, a comic strip style piece called Taking Responsibility where a young child is attempting to sway their father's opinion with hilarious, albeit flawed, rationale; a simple full-color photograph called A Memory of Friends that cryptically depicts a set of footprints in rocky soil; and the poem Why Me? wherein the narrator laments being the receptacle for others' emotional garbage and is unable to understand why it happens to begin with.
Perception is one of those books that when you're scrolling through a grid of covers you look at and think, “Huh. What is this?” You then read the blurb and think the same thing. And then you open the book and flip through, and you know you just need to sit down and take it in. J.A. McGovern and the Perception Team are wildly talented and it really shows. I love how the work moves between different styles of iconography, the standout being a sketch of a woman of color who is rippling with muscles, strong and so obviously confident in Activation Zero. I was most touched by the short but incredibly poignant Birthmarks, which describe the scars on a body and the first time they are shared with another, and what they mean to the bearer. I was most able to relate to a black and white photograph called An Artist's Love, which unapologetically shows a mass spread of tins and cans and brushes, crumpled paper and bottles of spirit...tools of the trade, a trade we truly do love. Very highly recommended.