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The Ticking Hardcover – May 8, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
I am sure there is someone out there-- in fact, I am sure there are a lot of someones out there-- who can read through The Ticking a few times and tell you all sorts of things about the subtext, the symbolism, and all sorts of other under-the-surface stuff about this book. I am not one of them. I'm just here to tell you that The Ticking is one of the flat-out oddest productions I have encountered in the universe of graphic literature.
Edison Steelhead's mother dies in childbirth. His father sees that Edison has inherited his own deformities, and sets about trying to get Edison plastic surgery to make him look more normal. Edison himself isn't sure about all this, and flees from the necessity of these confrontations into his career as an aspiring artist. Edison's father then brings home a sister for Edison-- Patrice, a chimpanzee, and Edison and Patrice begin down the road to siblinghood, one not smooth at the best of times. And that's just the beginning. Things get odder from there.
This is a book both amusing (how amusing you will find it depends largely on your capacity for appreciation of black humor) and horrifying, often in the same panel. French's panorama is the world of the deformed, but just as Katherine Dunn in Geek Love or Tod Browning in Freaks, French approaches her subjects with a warmth and humor that translates to the audience's ability to better relate to the book's subjects-- always a wonderful thing.
If the book has a problem, it's that it could have been longer. French's impressionist style is wonderful, and the holes that are left are done with an obvious sense of planning, but I'd still have liked to see a little more of... well, everything. The relationship between Patrice and Edison's father in particular stands out as not quite covered enough, but the Patrice-and-Edison scenes, some of the best in this always-strong book, are too few.
Great stuff. Highly recommended. ****
There are many incredible illustrators, authors, and artists out there but very few succeed in creating a unique language with their work. Ms. French has. THE TICKING reaffirms our need for master storytelling, the experience of books, and the importance of the visual as language.
ticking - A strong, tightly woven fabric of cotton or linen used to make pillow and mattress coverings.
Edison is weird and is fascinated with things just as strange as he is. He turns out to be well-adjusted as everyone else, except he has a chimp for a sister. That makes him cooler than most people. He ponders a way to change his life, his deformity, with a superficiality like a ticking...