a review by Nalini Haynes
Author: Shaun Tan
Presenter: Passion Pictures Aust
The observant and loyal reader will notice that I reviewed The Lost Thing in the first edition of Dark Matter. The thing is, Madman sent me the collector’s edition and I love Shaun Tan’s work so much I just had to add a bit more…
Shaun Tan is a gifted artist with a creative imagination telling ageless, timeless stories through images with little if any need for dialogue. When I first received The Lost Thing, my teenage son (MTS) grunted the way teenage boys do, then added ‘that was a good book’. My jaw hit the floor. I had never seen the book, so I demanded details. It turns out MTS remembers the book from his grade four classroom but never brought it home. If he had, I would have discovered Tan years earlier.
The collector’s edition of The Lost Thing includes a number of special features well worth watching as well as a beautiful hard cover book called What Miscellaneous Abnormality is That? Filled with mostly grey scale drawings, sometimes on a yellowish background, the images are engaging snapshots of more Tan-style monsters in the tradition of Where the Wild Things Are, which was a feature of my own childhood.
I highly recommend this and Tan’s other works to the young and young at heart everywhere, as well as lovers of genre art.
This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 2, January 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.