Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tales from Outer Suburbia

by Shaun Tan

I've been trying to think of a word to describe this amazing graphic novel-y book; it's unusual in both form and content. It's a collection of short stories (some very short) accompanied by illustrations. The stories are surreal without being spooky, while the illustrations are beautiful and detailed but also sort of soft-focus. I guess the best word is "dreamy," although I'm tempted to use "plush" (rich and smooth, as in "lush," but — despite the weirdness and unreality — gentle and comforting, like a stuffed animal), but that sounds weak and/or twee and doesn't really work without explanation.

What else? It's effing fantastic! Top 10 even! I would recommend this to anyone: adult, teen, tween; you could totally read it to little kids like a picture book. Anyone who likes GNs/comics or short stories and people who make/appreciate art will be especially pleased.

And it's totally cute that his name is spelled like Shaun Cassidy.

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