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 anyΒ  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”

Click to Enlarge


19 Responses

  1. Ooooh! Dave McKean is one of my favourite favourite artists, but I’m like you: I’ve never explored his solo work. I definitely need to read this.

  2. *kicking self hard enough to leave bruises* I had this in my hands less than an hour ago…and I ended up not buying it. Why Debi?!! Why?!! What the hell were you thinking?!!

  3. I am sure this comment will make me seem quite intelligent, but I can’t really get past thinking, “Wow! Pretty pictures!” on this one. Like, really, really pretty!

    And so far, I’m really enjoying The Bone People. I am quite happy to see that I was completely wrong about the quotation mark thing. They are used, though that doesn’t make the book easy to read πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, I want! Thanks for posting about this!

  5. Memory, You do indeed πŸ˜€ It’s such a fantastic collection and I’m so happy to own this one!!

    Debi, I lost it when I read your comment :p Fret not, my dear, it’ll be there (hopefully) next time you go to the bookstore. I’m sure you have plenty of other stuff to read in the meantime. If it’s not there, there’s always Amazon or TBD!

    Aarti, That was my initial reaction too! That’s always my initial reaction with Dave McKean! I just love his artwork…it’s so incredible. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying The Bone People!! Yeah, she uses quotes eventually and it’s not the easiest of books to read, but it’s absolutely beautiful. Eventually it becomes very easy to read because you get so wrapped up in the story!

    Kailana, You totally need to get it πŸ˜€

  6. It looks beautiful Chris. Now that I can actually see the pictures that kept disappearing in RSS for me. Grr. Stupid computer. But I’m here now! Hello! *waves* Okay, anyway, yeah, definitely adding this to my list.

  7. Amanda, Yay! You can see pictures πŸ˜€ It really is a beautiful book with some amazing stories. And no extreme violence or vomiting I promise you!!! Though there is a comic where a tree grows through a girl, but you’ve seen a pic of that πŸ˜‰

  8. I actually saw this at my local bookstore yesterday. I was tempted for a minute, but their ridiculous prices (something like €30) made me see sense πŸ˜›

  9. Oooh! Tempting!

    I love Dave Mckean’s work but like others I’ve never checked out his solo stuff. You do know I’m on a book buying ban don’t you… πŸ˜›

  10. But I just got Tales from Outer Suburbia and two more Fables books. I can’t be buying more now. Really. (I wonder if my local B&N has a copy….)

  11. And I said no more excessive book buying in 2010 and already I have one for my list. I may have to do bad bloggers this year… Glad you enjoyed it, but it wasn’t like you weren’t :p

  12. Nymeth, O_o Yeah, that’s a bit much! But it’s so freaking good!! I hope you can find it somewhere else for a decent price!! Oh wait!!! Never mind…don’t go find it for cheaper, I just did and it’s on its way to you πŸ˜€ Happy Birthday!!!!

    Darren, Ahem, this is worth breaking the ban my friend….oh, ok, you can wait until AFTER your ban is over, but then you should really buy this one :p

    Beth, hehehehehehe, But this one is so good!!! I am THRILLED of course to hear that you got Tales from Outer Suburbia and two more Fables books. The first story in Tales is my absolute favorite. I just loved it so much πŸ™‚

    Rhinoa, Well I wouldn’t call one little book excessive πŸ˜‰ Bad Bloggers is fun!! It’s nice to put the blame on others :p

  13. Aaaand there goes my Christmas B&N gift card. Seriously, though, this looks brilliant, I’d no idea he’d released such a thing.

  14. I’m wondering Chris, is this just a new printing or an updated one, because Pictures that Tick has been out for years. My copy has a different cover but it sounds like exactly the same book. And it is a nice one!

  15. Nevermind my laziness, I did my own search and it is a paperback reprint. I guess a smaller press did the first hardback run of it in 2001. I didn’t realize they were putting it out again, but that thrills me because I really love McKean’s work and any chance to get it in more hands is a great thing in my opinion.

  16. A collection of short stories in a Graphic Novel? Sounds great, I’ll look for this, thanks!

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