Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pictures that Tick Volume 1 by Dave McKean

What better way to start off this new year than with a brand new graphic novel collection from one of my favorite artists alive today, Dave McKean. I had heard about Pictures That Tick awhile back. I think Nymeth had told me about it on Twitter. I hadn't realized though that it was out already until I was shopping at Borders with Amanda and stumbled upon it. I was even more excited to see the subititle "short narrative: book one"....which leads me to believe that there will be a book two, a fact that he acknowledges in the biography section at the end! What I loved about this book is that we get a chance to see McKean's own stuff. Most of my exposure to him is work he has done for others such as Neil Gaiman and David Almond and S.F. Said. I've seen many of his original paintings, but I've yet to read any of his own comics or graphic pieces. And it was such a treat to finally read some of them! They're absolutely wonderful. All of the pieces in this collection are short. But they're beautifully told. A few stories are told with words, but a few are told with nothing but pictures. Each story has it's own unique style to it, but they are all most definitely easily identified as a work by Dave McKean. His work is dark, very dark, but very meaningful....very beautiful. There's a touch of pain in each story but a type of pain that ultimately leads to a greater understanding of things. Two stories in particular really touched me. One was a story named "Ash", about a young girl who is told a story by her step-mother that literally takes root in her and continues to grow. It's a beautiful story and beautifully illustrated. I think my favorite story of the collection is the final story, "His Story". This story is sort of an autobiography of shorts..a very short one. It tells how McKean's father's story has shaped his own life as a father as a human, as an artist. It's just beautiful. The illustrations reminded me of the giants in Mirrormask. They're incredible. Needless to say, I can't wait for Volume two to come out. I'm always excited by any new work that features Dave McKean, but this collection was just extra special and I'm so happy to hold this in my hands.

From "Ash"

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