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Thursday, 22 March 2012

freaks

http://nikperringdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/freaks-6.jpg

Freaks
Writers: Nik Perring   Caroline Smailes  Artist:Darren Craske
The Friday Project/Harper Collins

Paper back
13 x 19.5 cms
Black and white
132pp
£6.99
ISBN 978-0-00-744289-8

According to the cover blurb:

“Welcome to a world where ordinary people have super powers.  Some real, some imagined.  Some wanted, some not.  A world where lovers turn to stone, where bullied schoolgirls become invisible and where zombies work as hairdressers.  A world where people don’t quite fit.  Welcome to Freaks, a collection of 50 illustrated short stories –touching, hilarious and heartbreaking.”

Apparently the book is to tie into the interest shown in the TV series Misfits.

I was somewhat disappointed.  I’m not sure who this book is aimed at. Initially I thought youngsters but some of the art and topics would be frowned upon if sold to anyone under 15 years of age.  For an older reader I cannot see this being of much interest so I assume that it is aimed at a teenage market?

The art varies from okay to “uhhhh” –the full page illo going with the story “I Want You To Ride Me Like A Pony” is one example. And it’s the sort of art you might see in a Small Press comic.  I’m sorry but it just did nothing for me.  In fact, the opening dialogue to that particular story is a little “off” –I don’t want to be too cruel.   “The Boner” (no, seriously) is equally cringing.

Aimed at a teenage market?  I think the teenagers would be very insulted. What was Harper-Collins thinking?  And I really wanted to push this.

To be honest, had the stories been turned into comic strips it might have worked –the art in particular.  All the promise of the cover blurb (kids: beware cover blurbs –it’s how we publishers hook you and grab your money) and press release and…well, it is a disappointment. And £6.99 -£6.99??- no.  I found myself fondly remembering the 50p paperback section of old book shops.

I think Craske does show potential but this is not a good portfolio of work.  I just noted that Craske says this is his first work as an illustrator. Hmm.

Check the book out yourself if you see a copy as I’m sure there are a few out there who will like this but I was just left asking “WHY Harper-Collins???”

To prove someone liked it:

“Read it and be amazed! Before you finish you’ll already be thinking of who to buy if for. It’s a circus sideshow made of words: dare to enter and become astonished to discover yourself on stage, in the staring role. I guarantee that by the time you finish reading this book you’re not only recognize your inner freak, but you’ll have learned to love it.”                                             ANDREW KAUFMAN author of All My Friends are Superheroes

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