graphic novel (1)

Stitches by David Small

First of all, I love David Small as an illustrator and author, especially his children's book, Imogene's Antlers, and I think he illustrated the book written by his wife, The Gardener (Not sure of the title) and my idea was this was one happy man. Stitches totally blew me out of the water with his horrendous childhood graphically depicted (a graphic biography)and the fact that he was able to overcome his family dysfunction. Small's words and drawings are superb in what they show and don't show and what they say and don't say all from a child's viewpoint through to his adulthood. His mother was an angry woman who didn't speak much, but banged around the pots and pans or slammed doors. His father was a doctor who came home and hit a punching bag in their basement. His brother banged on his drums. David tells us he was a sickly child, an inquisitive child, and a nervous child. He loves Alice in Wonderland, fantasy and above all else, drawing. When a growth is discovered in his neck, it takes his parents three and a half years to get it looked at and by the time it is operated on, it is cancerous, something his parents decide not to tell him. He wakes up in a hospital with stitches gaping down his neck and he is less one vocal chord. Life doesn't get much better for a teen with no voice, but David hangs in and with the salvation of a therapist (drawn as the White Rabbit) David is able to overcome. A great story of redemption about a truly great artist and his love of drawing.
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