Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Ticking - Reneé French

Just look at how beautiful that book is. Cloth-bound and embossed. I'm a shallow, shallow person, and I admit, I bought it just because it was lovely. I pick it up every now and then, just to hold it, and touch the cover.

This is not a graphic novel.

It's a picture book.

Edison Steelhead was born looking like his father, and so his father takes him away to live on an island, where no one can see them. Edison grows up as all children do, curious and questioning, and not entirely accepting of his father's own issues. Their ability and inability to be ashamed, unashamed of their appearance draws them further apart, in this quiet, soft, greylead world.

There is so much space on the pages, each picture a little window surrounded by white, as if I was only getting the slightest, cropped glimpse of the world they inhabit. I couldn't help feeling each picture was being forced to sit in the corner, ashamed of the attention it gained by being present.

All that soft pencil is marvellously printed, to the point I was afraid of brushing my fingers across each page, lest I accidently smudge the art.

I understand Edison. I understand Edison's father too. The story should make you cringe, want to turn away, but you won't.

Verdict: Yes.

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