Monday, December 29, 2008

Graphic Novel Monday: Milk Teeth, by Julie Morstad

milk teeth, by Julie Morstad. Published 2007 by Drawn & Quarterly.

Click here to buy milk teeth from your local IndieBound-affiliated independent bookseller.

milk teeth is one of the stranger little things I've picked up lately- a small, slight, wordless collection of sketches arranged into silent stories. I find something about Morstad's surrealistic images to be arresting and unforgettable.

There is no dialogue in the collection, and barely a narrative. What there is instead is several series of miniature drawings, executed in a dense, detailed style that appear to me to be pen and ink and watercolor. Morstad's visual style resembles Edward Gorey to no small degree; her pictures of children and animals in fantastical situations and poses is slightly macabre and Victorian, although her pictures are not as dark as Gorey's. There is something of the fairy tale in her pictures. Common motifs include faces, animals and especially hair- long hair that binds, connects, contorts and overflows. Morstad's penstrokes flow in rivers of hair. She also draws elaborately-patterned clothing and detailed animal fur.

Many of the drawings could be seen as disturbing; there is little real violence or sexual content but there is a certain sensuality to her style. The book is most likely appropriate for older teens and adults. I wouldn't recommend milk teeth to the graphic-novel newcomer but for those interested in unusual and dream-like visions it's an interesting book to peruse. For me it is a quick read to which I'm sure I will return.


FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.


Alea said...

I searched high and low for this book and now i can't even remember where i found it, but i was so excited! i really like her illustration style.

Check out this cute little book she did the illustrations for, i think the second book recently came out too!

Andi said...

This is one I'd like to get hold of for the 2009 Graphic Novels challenge. I'm particularly fond of wordless or nearly wordless books. I'm fascinated by an author/illustrator's ability to create a narrative (even if it's loose) strictly from images.