Shaun Tan Watch #1

Note: this will probably be a long one. I'm way behind on checking out Shaun Tan's links.

Reviews of The Arrival

David Mathews on the "express buzz" website: "Straddling the divide between children's picture book and adult graphic novel to splendid effect, The Arrival, by Australian illustrator Shaun Tan, is one of those rare beasts: a wholly graphic fiction that dispenses with the use of words entirely. Rare, because it is so remarkably difficult -- when attempting to tell an engaging and comprehensible story solely in pictures -- to avoid a descent into monotonous exposition."
Douglas on the "Hell in a Kiss" weblog: "The photorealistic drawing precision of the known, devoid of any identification, is in constant interaction with the imaginative plane of the new and the strange. They playfully mix into landscapes of the mind where history and the future blend effortlessly and everyday objects are enveloped with the magical aura of an archetype nostalgia and an imprecise shape of things to come. If nevertheless, this is a measure of the things to come from Shaun Tan, then we are in for some pleasant surprises in the future."
The "From Word to Word" weblog: "I was at the library with my two sons, and I happened to see Shaun Tan's The Arrival out on a table as I was following my youngest on his energetically random path. I read as I followed, and I was soon utterly immersed in the story, in its blending of the fantastic and the familiar, in its almost tactile sense of intimacy."

Reviews of Tales from Outer Suburbia

"Publisher's Weekly" gave it a starred review (it's a fair way down the page): "The term 'suburbia' may conjure visions of vast and generic sameness, but in his hypnotic collection of 15 short stories and meditations, Tan does for the sprawling landscape what he did for the metropolis in The Arrival...Ideas and imagery both beautiful and disturbing will linger."
Neel Mukherjee in "Time" magazine: "Deploying pen and ink, pencil, woodcuts, crayons and oils, the drawings in the book are exalting, filling you with joy and revelation. But crucially, Tan can also write: his stories effortlessly rearrange the pattern of reality in prose that is evocative and supple."
Barbara Taylor in "The London Free Press": "Tales From Outer Suburbia demands an alert reader accepting of a fresh approach to life and literature. Within, you'll discover 15 wonderfully wacky, yet poignant stories in 96 unusually illustrated pages. The artwork is a feast for your eyes ranging from watercolours to hand-written notes to the table of contents neatly recorded on separate postage stamps. I resisted the temptation to first thumb through the colourful pages, and was later rewarded by many an abrupt, surprise ending."
Letha Colleen on the "...pursuit of happiness" weblog: "It's a collection of short stories that introduces off kilter characters and elements into neighborhoods and towns that otherwise might be perceived of as mundane. As each story is different so too are the illustration styles."
Amanda Growe and John Lucas on the "" website from Vancouver: "Tales From Outer Suburbia is more than a kids' book but not quite a graphic novel. If this latest work from Shaun Tan -- the acclaimed Australian author and illustrator behind The Arrival and The Red Tree -- is hard to categorize, that's only fitting, since the book is filled with stories that aren't quite stories. Rather, they're descriptions of the weird denizens and absurd happenings of a seemingly mundane anyplace called Outer Suburbia, where things tend to turn up in unexpected places."
JK on the "The Keepin' It Real Book Club" weblog: "Tales from Outer Suburbia is a collection of stories that whimsically tap into the imaginative potential of suburbia - often considered a sort of sterile, mass-produced cultural wasteland (a judgment not far from the truth, says this former suburbanite). Yet tales from outer suburbia challenges this stereotype, transforming suburbia into a portal to another fantastical world (literally in one story, in which a family discovers they have a secret inner courtyard in their home). Suburbia is no longer drab and dull, but rather a
departure point for any number of possible adventures."


"New York Magazine" has published a seven-page excerpt from Tales from Outer Suburbia.


A theatrical adaptation of The Arrival by Kate Parker and Julie Nolan will play at the upcoming Auckland Festival, 5-22 March 2009.
Tan is working on an animated version of his book The Lost Thing, scheduled for release in late 2009, according to The webpage also includes a link to a 5 minute documentary on the adaptation.


The "" website films Australian artist and writer Shaun Tan introducing and discussing his work.
Lia Graigner on the "Walrus Magazine" blog.
Bernie Goedhart in "The Montreal Gazette".
Irene Gallo on "".
Michael Shirrefs on "The Book Show", ABC Radio National.


Tan has supplied the interior illustrations for Kelly Link's new short-story collection Pretty Monsters. You can get more information about that here.
There's an illustration from The Red Tree here.
And lastly, don't forget that Shaun Tan will be a Guest of Honour at Aussiecon 4, the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention being held in Melbourne in September 2010.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 30, 2009 9:25 AM.

Prove It All Night was the previous entry in this blog.

Review: The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King is the next entry in this blog.

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