Editors: Rantz A. Hoosley and Tori Amos
Genre: Graphic Novel
Comic Book Tattoo is an anthology graphic novel featuring 51 stories based on or inspired by a song by Tori Amos.
What I Thought of This Book
I did not enter the bookstore intending to buy this book. I was actually looking for the fourth graphic novel in The Sandman Series. Unfortunately, everyone else must have needed the fourth book too so all of them were gone. Considering it was the second bookstore I'd looked for Sandman in, I resigned to getting the book online. I decided to see if there was anything else that seemed interesting. I discovered they had Comic Book Tattoo. Though I had wanted to buy it eventually, it wasn't at that top of my list. There were many comics I intended to read first. However, the artwork in Comic Book Tattoo was just so awesome, and I am a bit of a Tori fan. I figured why not buy it?
A few of the comics differed from what I interpreted the songs to be. This bothered me for a few seconds. Then I realized that everyone interprets a song differently. That is the beauty of music. I read more on the concept behind the book, which made the stories make more since. All the graphic artists were asked to created something that reflected the way the song made them feel, not how the song could be interpreted. Sometimes the way songs make you feel has nothing to do with what the song is about. When you think about it, Tori's songs can occasionally be down right difficult to interpret. I will never forget when my mom and I spent many hours trying to decipher the lyrics on one of her albums. It made my brain hurt a little, but the music was still great.
As I said the artwork done by a off the artists is beautiful. I was expecting that I would like that. As I expected one or two of them to be just a little too weird for me. I didn't expect that the stories based on the few songs I don't like would be some my favorite stories. On the other side of the coin, some stories based on my favorite songs were good but not quite my favorite. These stories are cute, meaningful, reflective, and many have awesome sci-fi/fantsy plots. As you can guess, some of these comics contain mature themes. However, if you are old enough to watch the shows on Showtime or HBO you probably won't have a problem with this.
The only little inconvenience with this book is that it is huge. I read almost all of this during an all night black out due to rainstorms and flooding in our area. I had to hold the book at weird angles to read by candlelight. Because of the size of the book, by the time I finished it the outer cover completely came off. Fortunately, the binding of the pages held together. All I can say is that if you are going to get it you might want to invest in the hardback copy. Aside, from this I enjoyed Comic Book Tattoo very much. It was a great way for me to pass time when I had no television, internet, or you know electricity in general.
Facts I Found Interesting
The title of Comic Book Tattoo comes from the song Flying Dutchman. The song was written about editor and graphic novelist Rantz A. Hoosley who is Tori’s close friend. Rantz also introduced Tori's music to fellow graphic novel creator and writer, Neil Gaiman, by giving him a demo tape of hers before her first album came out. He told Neil that Tori had written a song about him on it and asked him not to sue her. Ha ha. The tape actually lead to Neil calling her on the phone and them becoming friends. Neil Gaiman wrote the forward to Comic Book Tattoo. Ironically, I went to the bookstore to get a book in the Sandman Series created by Neil Gaiman. Therefore, in a round about way I still ended up with something Neil related.
Art of Comic Book Tattoo
Here is a link to an image gallery on my favorite Tori fan site hereinmyhead.com which feature some of the art in Comic Book Tattoo.
Music To Read By
I bet you're thinking I listened to every Tori Amos album ever while reading this. In fact, you would be wrong. I didn't listen to any music at all. Part of it was that each story is prefaced by the lyrics to the song it is based on. It can be hard to read lyrics to a song while listening to a different song. My other reason is the aforementioned black out. I wasn't sure how much charge I had on my Mp3 player, and with no electricity, I couldn't charge it. The playlist below features all the songs featured in the book in order
Comic Book Tattoo Playlist
Bouncing Off Clouds
Take To The Sky
Here, In My Head
Snow Cherries From France
Caught A Light Sneeze
Silent All These Years
Glory of the 80's
Beauty of Speed
I Can't See New York
Devils And Gods
Past The Mission
Sweet The Sting
Pretty Good Year
I thought it might be fun to share with you a Tori Amos Tribute video I edited a long time ago. I made it when I was in a deep Tori phase. I still like her now, but I don't think I'm quite as obsessed as I was. Haha. Anyway, I mixed footage from some of her music videos and one of her live performances. I think it's pretty good. It's edited under my screen name Scarlet Cherry.
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