Synopses & Reviews
One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.
In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children’s illustrator and author, re-creates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama where David—a highly anxious yet supremely talented child—all too often became the unwitting object of his parents’ buried frustration and rage.
Believing that they were trying to do their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son’s respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David’s cancer. Elizabeth, David’s mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden.
Depicting this coming-of-age story with dazzling, kaleidoscopic images that turn nightmare into fairy tale, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child to cancer patient, to the troubled teen whose risky decision to run away from home at sixteen—with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist—will resonate as the ultimate survival statement.
A silent movie masquerading as a book, Stitchesrenders a broken world suddenly seamless and beautiful again. Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award (Young Adult); finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (Best Writer/Artist: Nonfiction; Best Reality-Based Work).
Praise for Stitches:
'David Small presents us with a profound and moving gift of graphic literature that has the look of a movie and reads like a poem. . . . We know that we are in the hands of a master."Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize'"winning cartoonist
'David Small"s Stitchesis aptly named. With surgical precision, the author pierces into the past and, with great artistry, seals the wound inflicted on a small child by cruel and unloving parents. Stitches is as intensely dramatic as a woodcut novel of the silent movie era and as fluid as a contemporary Japanese manga. It breaks new ground for graphic novels."Franoise Mouly, art editor, The New Yorker,and editorial director, TOON Books
'David Small evokes the mad scientific world of the 1950s beautifully. Small is an innocent lamb, a sensitive boy, caught in a nightmare situation. Capturing body language and facial expressions subtly, Stitchesbecomes in Small"s skillful hands a powerful story, an emotionally charged autobiography."Robert Crumb, author of The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
'In Stitches, David Small, one of our most gifted storytellers, exposes the deepest part of a painful youth'"as cathartic and disturbing as memoirs get. This one will resonate long after you put it down."Harry Bliss, cover artist for The New Yorker
'Add David Small"s book to the illustrated bible of artists who have had to will themselves'"invent themselves'"and ultimately seize success as the only way to keep the gritty, dark beginning of a home life from snuffing them out altogether."Jack Gantos, author of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, finalist for the National Book Award
The #1 bestseller and National Book Award finalist that "breaks new ground for graphic novels" (Francois Mouly, art editor, ).
David Small, a best-selling and highly regarded children's book illustrator, comes forward with this unflinching graphic memoir. Remarkable and intensely dramatic, Stitches tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who awakes one day from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he has been transformed into a virtual mute--a vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot. From horror to hope, Small proceeds to graphically portray an almost unbelievable descent into adolescent hell and the difficult road to physical, emotional, and artistic recovery. A National Book Award finalist; winner of the ALA's Alex Award; a #1 graphic bestseller; and Top Ten Books of the Year, Favorite Book, ALA Great Graphic Novels, Editors Choice Award, Huffington Post Great Books of 2009, Best of 2009, Best Graphic Novel, finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (Best Writer/Artist: Nonfiction; Best Reality-Based Work).
This striking, full-color graphic novel follows Ichiro as he moves from New York to Japan where a shapeshifting tanuki brings him on a fantastic adventure into the mythological world of Japanese gods.and#160; This journey brings him closer to his Japanese roots, and to understanding the nature of good and evil, war and peace, gods and men.
Ichiro lives in New York City with his Japanese mother. His father, an American soldier, was killed in Iraq. Now, Ichiand#8217;s mom has decided they should move back to Japan to live with Ichiand#8217;s grandfather.
and#160;and#160;and#160;Grandfather becomes Ichiand#8217;s tour guide, taking him to temples as well as the Hiroshima Peace Park, where Ichi starts to question the nature of war. After a supernatural encounter with the gods and creatures of Japanese mythology, Ichi must face his fears if he is to get back home. In doing so, he learns about the nature of man, of gods, and of war. He also learns there are no easy answersand#8212;for gods or men.
Barry Lyga writes a metafictive masterpiece with art by multi-Eisner Award-winner Colleen Doran. Together theyand#160;combine manga techniques and conventions with Western comic book storytelling to create a unique seamless comic hybrid. Ryoko, a character from the word of manga, falls hardand#8212;through the Ripand#160;into the "real" world and in love with the most beautiful girl in a typical American high school.
and#8220;Fantasticand#8212;in every sense of the word! . . .and#160;Fans of both comics and manga will love Mangaman.and#8221; and#8212;Jeff Smith, author of Bone
When Ryoko Kiyami, a manga character from a manga world, falls through the Rip into the and#8220;realand#8221; Western world, he must learn to survive as an outsider at a typical American high school. He must find a way back through the Rip to his manga world, but things tangle up when he develops and#8220;hearts for eyesand#8221; for a beautiful girl from the wrong kind of comic book. This metafictive masterpiece blends manga and traditional Western comic book styles to create a complex comic hybrid thatand#8217;s both hilarious and heartbreaking.
About the Author
Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek and the author of many books, including, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, Goth Girl Rising, Boy Toy,
for HMH and Wolverine: Worst Day Ever
for Marvel Books and Archvillian
He has also written comic books about everything from sword-wielding nuns to alien revolutionaries. He worked as Marketing Manager at Diamond Comic Distributers for 10 years. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Visit Barry online at www.barrylyga.com. and#12288; Colleen Doran, in a career spanning more than twenty years, has worked on some of the greatest characters in comics, including Superman, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman, partnered with such writers as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. Her books include A Distant Soil and Girl to Grrrl Manga. She has traveled and lectured extensively in Singapore, Japan, Germany, and England, and served as Artist in Residence at the Smithsonian Institute in 2006. She won a grant from the Delphi Institute to study American popular culture, and was chosen to represent the United States at the Japan/America manga/comics seminar in Tokyo. Visit her website at www.colleendoran.com.