The Lady ParanormaThe Lady Paranorma by Vincent Marcone
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

AAAAAHHH – czp is making picture books now!

 photo IMG_8019_zps2rftmc3f_1.jpg

they’re trying to be all grown by calling this a graphic novel, and that’s as may be, but there are zero instances of the words “ka-pow” or “blammo,” no thought bubbles or sequential boxes making up a grid, and not a scrap of spandex!

but kidding aside, there’s only about 425 words in this book*, and the layout is traditional picture book style, with a couple of words per illustrated page:

 photo IMG_8014_zpseyv3ir0e_1.jpg

but the true test is “could this be published as a story without its art?” and it cooouuuld, but it would be in some novelty halloween anthology, where it would be just one rhyming poem among many. the words are really just a vehicle to drive the art, the way tortilla chips are the vehicle that allows you to shove a ton of melted cheese into your face all at once. so between length and format and illustration-v.-text strength, i’m putting the “picture” at the forefront, even if the publisher is not.

because the pictures are grand, see?

 photo IMG_8016_zpsulpwjxu1.jpg

 photo IMG_9453_zpsnm6jat5g.jpg

and his process is fascinating:

Vincent developed his unique style by combining his affection for the 600-year-old art of intaglio printmaking with his love of computer graphics. Early in his studies he would scrape and etch and carve his images onto zinc plates of all shapes and sizes, then send them hurtling through antiquated hand-turned presses. This experience and love of an old world aesthetic is what sets him apart from other digital artists. He handles his digital paintings as he handled his etchings, focusing in on the line work and meticulously placing each pixel to convey a sense of mood and ambiance. Drawing from a personal library of over 500 original textures (each created with metal plates and hand-wiped inks) Marcone uses his computer to fuse together media of all sorts to create imagery that is part of a larger story.

its this fiddly-ness that really makes his work stand out from other artists, even other artists who specialize in creepygirl art – these have a texture to them; a depth that is likely not photographing as well as it looks in the book.

 photo IMG_9447_zps2ex10ul8_1.jpg

 photo IMG_9446_zpsufdoubep.jpg

 photo IMG_9452_zpszsh6yexx.jpg

just gorgeous stuff.

 photo IMG_9451_zpsfllyo4qa.jpg

 photo IMG_9449_zpsdranrffw.jpg

and then you get to the last page, only to find this:

 photo IMG_9443_zpsmkpznnzq.jpg

oh, NOW you tell me, book!

so of course, i had to go back and page through the whole thing again and lemme tell you – some of those birds are hiding pretty well, and there was much shouting of “where are you, you fucking bird?” in woodside that night.

but i found every one. what i didn’t find was a working link to the short film narrated by peter murphy. the one in the book leads to a ‘page not found,’ and the one on his site requires a vimeo password, which i do not have because i am not cool. you are probably cooler than me, so here – vimeo away or whatever the kids are saying:…

i will just enjoy the book like the old fogey i am.

 photo IMG_8018_zpsdsrszlkk.jpg

* fewer words than this review

read my reviews on goodreads

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amazon Disclaimer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including but not limited to,, or,,, or


this feels gauche, but when i announced i was starting a blog, everyone assured me this is a thing that is done. i’m not on facebook, i’ve never had a cellphone or listened to a podcast; so many common experiences of modern life are foreign to me, but i’m certainly struggling financially, so if this is how the world works now, i’d be foolish to pass it up. any support will be received with equal parts gratitude and bewilderment.

To Top