Posted by: Lizzie Ross | November 4, 2011

Post-Halloween read

copyright Ben Rubin 2011

When Comes What Darkly Thieves (2011), Ben Rubin, 19 pp.

This book came to me via one of my online groups, and what a privilege it is to have a copy.

The text is as mysterious as the title, with just a few white lines on each black page telling the story. A gypsy king finds you and steals the moonbeams from your eyes; with the help of a crow, you track down the gypsy and ask for them back. But it’s too late — he has transformed them into something else.

Next to the lines are illustrations that glow like jewels — collages with broad patches of colors, brush strokes of brilliant hues, and marbled effects surrounding shapes that look like embryonic insects. Crows, houses, tables, people: all are recognizable yet refracted through the prism of the artist’s eye.

Adults and children will fall under the spells of the frightening insinuations: the gypsies and crows, hiding under tables and rugs, revengeful dreams. The inscrutable tale takes us into the subconscious, where fears and needs control our actions, and then brings us out again with a fillip at the end that almost made me laugh.

This book is only available at the publisher’s website, as both traditional and e-book. A rich brew here, distilled to its essence. It’ll take many reads to see it all.

BTW, the publisher, Button-Down Bird, donates part of its profits to organizations that “support the development of children”. Worthy causes AND a feast for the eyes. What could be better?

Ben Rubin’s website is here.


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