Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Comic Book Tattoo Tales Inspired by Tori Amos by Rantz A. Hoseley

This anthology contains over 50 stories inspired by the songs of Tori Amos, a Grammy Award nominated singer songwriter known for her emotionally intense songs and one of the most prominent figures of the 1990s alternative music scene.

Neil Gaiman wrote the introduction and is a friend and collaborator of Amos. She wrote the introduction to Neil's "Death: the High Cost of Living".

The artwork is beautiful, and it is wonderful to see modern comics in a coffee table format book. These comic artists adapted the concepts behind Amos's songs into graphic vignettes. They did not do visual cover versions of the songs, but simply used the song as a jumping off point. So here you have a huge number of talented creators giving their best with a wide variety of themes, from fantasy, to historical drama, to science fiction. Tori Amos fans will love it. Comic fans will love it.

The author, Rantz Hoseley, thinks the union of comics and music is powerful, and that they are inherently related. He says "Both music and comics deal with emotional ‘beats’ that the creator sets up in their creative work for maximum impact; knowing when to go soft and restrained, when to have a ‘quiet’ moment, followed by having a big powerful surge that takes your breath away, or gives you that electric charge down to the base of your spine.” This book seeks to articulate the relationship between the wholly auditory experience of music with the wholly visual experience of comic books. And I believe it succeeds in a big way.

Here's one other interesting little tidbit of trivia. There is a librarian on the cover with Tori Amos. Her name is Amy Marie Keller, a.k.a. soldiergirl librarian. She is the perfect example of the new librarian. They are smart, well read, interesting, funny people, who have a passion for pop culture, activism, and technology. They are progressive, and hipper. And as my main man Neil Gaiman says in one of my favorite quotes about librarians "Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?" (from 'The Sandman'. Line spoken by Lucien, Librarian of the Dreaming)

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