Synopses & Reviews
This is gorgeously-packaged yet affordable all-ages fantasy is sure to become an instant classic. On their way through the city to school, Simon and his cat Jack keep taking shortcuts that lead them through fantasy worlds of wooden monsters and insatiable appetites, just for starters. Will they make back home safely? Printed in full-color, this book will be published with covers that have hand-silkscreened by the author and relief-stamped in the binding process. This will undoubtedly be one of the more handsome and unique packages in recent memory, with a brilliant graphic novel inside that justifies its elegant format. "The Clouds Up Above calls to mind everything from "Where the Wild Things Are to "The Wizard of Oz to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with its depiction of a fantastic world that lurks just around the corner from reality and that only children believe exists. The characterizations of Simon and Jack, with their delightfully scrappy dialogue, adds brilliant depth to the already-fantastic adventure that Crane has crafted for them. His clean, crisp drawing style calls to mind such greats as Herge and Chester Brown, and his masterful use of color adds even more depth to Crane's lovely pictures.
"Crane has made his reputation with subtle, heart-tuggingly depressive comics like The Last Lonely Saturday and Keeping Two, so his new project is a delightful surprise: a rip-roaring adventure about a kid named Simon, who skips school one day with his cat, Jack, and climbs a magic staircase leading skyward. There, they encounter a sad cloud named Perch and get mixed up in a conflict involving him, some nasty storm clouds and an irritable flock of birds. Crane's story piles absurdity on delicious absurdity, operating with the peculiarly linear logic of children's storytelling. Everything's exciting, even if it doesn't make much sense, and the dialogue is witty and bubbly ('Don't say fall when we're up so high,' Jack tells Simon. 'Say autumn'). Crane has a sense of all of his characters' body language Jack may talk, but his motion and expressions are totally catlike, and the shifting expressions and indistinct, grasping limbs of the clouds are exactly what clouds would look like if they had body parts. The book is a joy to look at Crane's loose, gliding lines burst with character, and his compositional gifts make every panel worth contemplating on its own. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)