Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

This is a magnificent book by Shaun Tan – one of my favourite artists (along with Dave McKeen) – that I would recommend to anyone, even if they didn’t necessarily read anything in this genre. It is beautifully written; the main advantage, though, are the stories depicted on the images. The category may be graphic-novel but, in essence, this book is an illustrated short story collection about extraordinary or peculiar things in an otherwise ordinary setting.

Shaun Tan has a rare talent: to evoke emotions deeply buried under your conscious surface and raise them in a fully realised experience of the mind. I see now the image of the buffalo and feel a smile creep up on me out of thin air. Reminiscent of a fuzzy world, like in a dream, I shake the hand of Eric (not too much, he seems fragile) and drink a cup of tea in his health. Playful grown up children with their feet never ceasing to run, run, run while a fire is roaring in the background and dogs are barking all throughout the night.

For a sample of the imagery go see here. Then come back and let me know what you think.

Thank you and goodnight.

 

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