“This story is about life. It is about who we are and how our choices define us. It is what we perceive the world around us to be and what our ideas of good and evil are, and whether there is such a thing as good or evil at all. Life is a road with no short cuts and no stops; it is a road that taxes our soul and all of its many turns.” (Author’s Note)
Tanpopo by Camilla D’Errico has been collected into a lovely hardcover by BOOM! Studios after previously being released in three separate volumes. With surreal, sketched artwork, the story is inspired by Goethe’s Faust, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio. Poetic in it’s narrative, it tells the story of a young girl that makes a deal with a devil to feel emotion. Pulling heavily from Japanese and Chinese lore and symbolism, we follow her journey with Kuro, a devil taking many forms including a fox and a teenage boy. He introduces her to a world of wonder, pain, love and excitement.
It’s clear why D’Errico has been nominated for both Eisner and Harvey Awards. This book is a shining example of her master storytelling with pictures and layouts. Shocks of color display the emotions of the scene and words get scattered across the page like dandelion seeds. The pages make us think, take a look at our views of good and evil and stir something in us that asks “What would you do to have your eyes opened just that little bit more?” Honestly, it’s one of the more enjoyable things I’ve read in some time.
Camilla D’Errico has worked with Image, Dark Horse, Random House and Tokyopop. Her past collaborations include works with Neil Gaiman, Disney, Sanrio and Mattel. She hails from Vancouver, British Columbia and you can reach her at camilladerrico.com
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