284. The Ticking by Renee French.

The Ticking by Renee French.

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (UK)

2005, Top Shelf Productions, 216 pgs

Age: 15+

"The Ticking is the story of Edison Steelhead, a boy who at birth takes his mother’s life and his father’s deformed face. Secreted away by his father to be raised in a remote island lighthouse, Edison relates to his surroundings in the only way he knows how--by capturing them in his sketchbook. Able to find beauty in even the most grotesque of things, Edison embraces his own unsettling appearance and sets out to confront the rest of the world. Waiting for him on its alien shores are the sights and experiences that will give shape to both his future and his past. Written and illustrated by acclaimed artist RenĂ©e French, The Ticking is a compelling work of graphic literature, a reminder that before we can appreciate the beauty around us, we must first find it within ourselves"

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

The children's Toon Book "Barry's Best Buddy" was my first introduction to French.  There was something just slightly unsettling about her illustration that touched my sense for the odd and made me want to investigate her further.  I was entirely enticed by her backlist and chose to start with "The Ticking".  This is a wonderful story about accepting and loving oneself for who you are.  It is slightly disturbing and highly engaging; I was glued to the pages.  The text is very sparse and there are many wordless panels and yet it tells a deeply moving story.  The bittersweet ending left me satisfied and this is a book I would come back to often.  French's black and white art is emotionally charged and enticingly macabre.