Michael's Reviews > The Ticking

The Ticking by Renée French
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's review
Oct 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2000s, graphic-novels, literature

The heartwarming story of a little boy born with a horribly fucked up face. No, I mean, this kid is all


"HEYYOUGUYS!" kinds of homely. This book, full of cute-yet-creepy illustrations, is about a child who is born wanting to hide his face from the world. His father is ugly in all the same ways, and has some even more deeply ingrained issues with his appearance. If I remember correctly, he wears a mask and a wig. Anyway, throughout the story, the little boy grows into a little man. He goes out to seak his fortune, and works to overcome his self-doubt.

So, you know the moral, but you probably haven't seen it delivered in such an understated way. It's charming.

Although we're all exceedingly goodlooking here on goodreads, everyone can relate to having something about them they would change if they could. For me, I've always despised my hair, because it's incredibly thick, and it automatically looks stupid whenever it gets longer than an inch or two. Plus, I don't look good bald. When I was in sixth grade, I had a rattail, because I thought that was cool at the time. This is a picture of a random kid with a rattail, because YOU WILL NEVER SEE PICTURES OF ME WITH ONE.
I don't remember why I went off on that tangent. I'm tired, grad school sucks, I hate literature reviews, and I'm going to fail at life.

Anyway, back to this loverly book, "The Ticking": I read this over a half-hour lunch break, and it entertained me. You can read roughly ninety pages a minute, because each page is an illustration with one line of dialogue beneath it. This is what French's art looks like:

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Isn't he cute for an ugly little boy? But really, you should see his face. It's Picasso-level jacked up.

Some of the pictures are pretty freaky, like the one where a tongue starts coming through the wall. And, if there's one thing I don't see enough of in graphic novels, it's gloominess. This book is pretty gloomy, but not in a pretentious or self conscious kind of way, just mildly sad in a comforting way like Anne Sexton poems. And, since I should stop enjoying myself and start studying again, I'll close with a photograph taken by the author. This is one of my faves.


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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Today's winner: I don't remember why I went off on that tangent. I'm tired, grad school sucks, I hate literature reviews, and I'm going to fail at life.

message 2: by David (new)

David Yikes. Anne Sexton is mildly sad in a comforting kind of way? grad school must REALLY suck. I thought she was more "soul crushingly depressing in a fur-coat-and-glass-of-vodka" kind of way.

Potato, po-tah-to, I suppose.

karen i love renee french. and i love this review.

message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen Dude, what are you talking about? I love your hair! I wish mine were still that thick...thank you, undergrad, for making me go bald and gray...and I'm not even a guy...

Anywho. I TOTALLY feel you on the suckiness of grad school. It is killing me quickly, and taking my lunch money, and good-God-I-can't-wait-until-December.

Michael THE KISS

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool!

Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

This is amazing, and not depressing. And, in case you forgot, I used to write depressing poetry, so I might've built up a pretty good tolerance for depressing poetry.

i love renee french. and i love this review.

Thank you kindly, Karen! You're all kinds of awesome.

It is killing me quickly, and taking my lunch money, and good-God-I-can't-wait-until-December.

I know, right? I have less than two weeks left to "finish" a 20-source lit review. Ask me how many sources I have.

I'm glad you asked. Eight. I'm going friggin nuts.

message 6: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Michael wrote: "I have less than two weeks left to "finish" a 20-source lit review."

Ah, memories! I once finished a 10 page research paper on the waste treatment process (let me tell you, so exciting) in an overnight fueled by Rockstar. You can do it!!!

message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen Yeah, eight is awesome. I'm with you in your freaking out; I have a Latin midterm exam in a week that I have no idea about and a bajillion papercut projects that I haven't even started. Man, I hate that class.

Michael Papercut projects? Do you have to go around giving people a bajillion papercuts? That project sounds a lot more fun than mine, although it might take some time. Eww, foreign language! I suck at those. Good luck.

I'm just going to be analyzing online communication in my project, and I don't know ANYTHING about who is important in rhetoric. But, in a worst-case scenario, I fail out and become homeless and die in a gutter. So, it's not so bad.

message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen Your version of papercut projects actually sounds a lot more fun than reality; no, there are just a bajillion smaller (medium-sized, really) projects that he's having us do, and it's a pain. On top of all reading/translating, I have about seven project-type assignments this term, which is outrageous for grad school.

Important when? I'm all kinds of up to date on who was important in ancient rhetoric, but not modern. Sorry.
Try not to die in the gutter. Too Poe. Die on the sidewalk.

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