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Book Review < Back

Marbles In My Underpants

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Renee French
Publisher: Oni Press

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Renee French lives in places we mortals can only dream about, and she harvests what she finds there on the page without explanation or affectation. Rivaled only by Jim Woodring for being so deft at plumbing the stick nooks of the subconscious, Renee's real gifts lie in being able to present imagery that's both terrifying and biological within an almost sweetly-innocent narrative style and a visual craft so light as to be disarming. Finding her work is like finding children's books from hell.

Perhaps that's why French chooses so often to present her stories through the perceptions of children. Her stories are saturated in an impressionistic worldview, given to the reader with a naïve fascination and youthful intuitiveness that evokes the bigness of the world to characters influenced acutely by their own smallness. MARBLES drowns in a landscape of runny noses and misunderstood magic, all the best kept secrets from mom and dad.

MARBLES IN MY UNDERPANTS is a career-to-date retrospective of Renee's work, housed under one cover by the boy geniuses at Oni Press; it's a fascinating inventory of the work and mind of one of comics' most iconoclastic voices.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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