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It Was A Dark And Silly NightReview - It Was A Dark And Silly Night
by Art Spiegelman & Francoise Mouly
HarperCollins, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Nov 3rd 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 45)

Given the quality of the work in the previous two Little Lit books, Little Lit and Strange Stories for Strange Kids, readers will have high expectations of the new publication, It Was a Dark and Silly Night.  Those expectations will be increased knowing that the contributors include the writers Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman, and the artists Richard Sala, Gahan Wilson, and Joost Swarte.  So maybe it is not surprising that this latest book in the series is a slight disappointment.  Like the previous two books, it is a strong collection of short pieces with distinctive artwork and writing, but very few of the pieces really shine.  For example, Lemony Snicket's piece has some of the quirks of his novels A Series of Unfortunate Events, but his tale of an abominable snowman falls rather flat, mostly because his young heroine Lucretia has less character than the children in his books.  Most of the other pieces are moderately funny and eye-catching, but they don't stand out so much.  There are some pieces where the artwork is very strong: Gaiman and Wilson's piece is dominated by the very distinctive and creepy pictures, which makes the text irrelevant, and William Joyce's old fashioned pastiche is memorable.  The strongest contribution is from Carlos Nine, who delivers a comic tale within a comic, with very different styles.  Overall, this is a good collection, and fans of the featured artists will want to see their work here, but other readers should start out with the first two books in the Little Lit series.

 

Link: Little Lit Web Site

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Link: Publisher website

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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