Title: Something At The Window Is Scratching: Children's Tales For Disturbed Children
Author: Roman Dirge
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics
Published: December 1, 1998
Roman Dirge is the beloved (well, maybe) author of the Lenore comics. This book of tales is (supposedly) for disturbed children.
It is neatly introduced by Jhonen Vasquez, who proclaims:
"Think back. No, farther back than that. No, even farther than that. NO, are you...
"Look, if you're not even going to try, then just forget it, okay? I'm leaving...
And ends with:
"Children are criminally insane, and must be destroyed"
I at first, through a lack of knowledge of Lenore, thought that this was just Vasquez publishing under a psuedonym or something, but realized eventually that it wasn't quite gory or warped enough to be him, and that Roman Dirge must, in somebody's world, be a real person.
Even though he insists on refering to himself in the third person.
I have tried Lenore, but didn't really have the taste for it, and I have to admit that this book doesn't truly change my opinion of Dirge's work. He would, for all intents and purposes, like to be Edward Gorey, but he doesn't have that final touch that Grimm adds to his work that makes it all so charming and yet disturbing. Dirge tends to come off as dark, but just a tad too cute, perhaps.
Or perhaps it's more the case that this is Vasquez for people who don't like tons of blood and gore and psychopathic children, and the like.
There is also a gently mocking edge to the work, as so many comics about goth society seem to do, but without the outright attacks of JTHM or the sharp satire of Voltaire. Goth mockery for younger folk, if you will.
Truly, as has been noted, I enjoyed the intro by Jhonen far more than the rest of the book. It gives an interesting peek into his childhood and imagination, and he's one of those people you really want to know more about, because the things he comes up with are so different and original.
In any case, the book is filled with charming pictures and story poems which are sure to delight and enchant the heart of any child who thinks that high powered rifles and clock towers fit well together. Please enjoy.
Ah. Also, watch out for the piggies.