The Orange Eats Creeps
Monday, August 23, 2010
That’s a pretty good title, right? It’s the name of a novel by Grace Krilanovich that I’ve just started reading. Here’s the cover:
Look familiar? Let me help you out. Here’s some artwork from the title page:
It’s Mat Brinkman. The book already sounded intriguing, but one that uses Brinkman’s art—I’m sold. I don’t think the author is influenced by Brinkman’s work, but there are certain similarities (granted, I’m only about thirty pages in). However, she evokes metaphorically concepts that are made literal in Brinkman’s work: for instance, an underground, semi-wilderness setting (in her case, “underground” street culture, and in his, literally underground), a strange creature as the central protagonist (in the novel, her heroine is a “hobo junkie vampire teen”), and an often abstract narrative whose coherence is strained by the formal complexities of storytelling/art.
The novel also bears resemblance to Black Hole, not least in its tale of teen runaways afflicted with something that’s more than your run-of-the-mill STD; Krilanovich refers to her teen hobos as vampires, but it’s not yet clear what that really means. She writes, “They distribute sexually transmitted diseases like the daily newspaper but they will never succumb, they will never die, just aging into decrepit losers inside a teenage shell.” Is it coincidence that both stories are set in the Pacific Northwest?
And then there’s this gross-out line: “The world would explode and settle on the surface of another planet in a brown paste, is what. Cockroaches would lick it up and a new wave of narcissistic gypsy-slut shitheads would hatch out of tiny pores on their backs.” I am so looking forward to Prison Pit 2.