Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comic Book Tattoo

The first Tori Amos song I ever heard was "Crucify" from her Little Earthquakes album.  I was probably thirteen and I was sweeping the kitchen.  My mom was out and I was listening to the forbidden music station; the ALTERNATIVE music station that propelled me from pure homeschooling girl to a flannel wearing, zine-making, riotgrrrl.  I loved the song and hungered for more Tori Amos.

I've been a fan for years and I can't quite describe why her music affects me.  Her voice is ethereal and her piano is beautiful, but there are gobs of singing piano ladies out there and none of them can compare with Tori Amos.  I think its the lyrics that snag me.

Her lyrics are nonsensical, absurd, troubling, beautiful, deep, shallow, witty, flirty, angry, feeling, poetic.... And the stories they paint -- or rather -- the half stories.  In an Amos song I never feel that the lyrics lead me from point A to point B.  Rather point C back to A and then skipping to D.  Days latter I find myself wondering if there was ever even a point B.  What isn't happening is as important as what is happening.  This is what compels me to keep listening, I get to participate in the story.  I imagine the people in the songs, their lives, what has brought them to this place in the song.

Comic Book Tattoo is a graphic novel comprised of a series of stories and images based on Amos' songs -- it is the most brilliant idea ever conceived.  I can't think of any musician who's lyrics could inspire such vastly different and creative reactions.  In fact, some readers complained that the stories in Comic Book Tattoo didn't match up to their visions, those readers had created completely different worlds and stories.  Awesome!  Of course we should all make our own stories, but I love seeing what other people imagine when listening.

The book is huge (480 pages) and edited by Rantz Hoseley and Tori Amos.  All the stories were great, but here are a few of my most favorite:
  • "Flying Dutchman"
  • "Little Amsterdam"
  • "Here. In my Head"
  • "The Waitress"
  •  "Winter"
  • "Siren"
  • "God"
  • "Pandora's Aquarium"
  • "Cornflake Girl"
  • "Devils and God"
In addition to counting this for the Graphic Novels Challenge, I'm also counting this for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.  Nearly every story contains some element of mythology, fairy tale, fantasy, or folklore.  Definitely a 5 star read!


Nymeth said...

I so want this book! The last time I checked the book depository only had it in hardcover, though, and it was prohibitively expensive :( Booo.

Amanda said...

I managed to get the book through interlibrary loan. I'm amazed by how many graphic novels I'm able to get through this service.

christina said...

I just purchased my copy of this a couple of weeks ago. I cannot wait to dive into it.