Billy Fog, Volume 1: The Gift of Trouble Sight

Overview

Like some other kids his age, Billy Fog has to wear glasses. But Billy has the gift of Trouble Sight, so when he takes his glasses off, he sees all the things that other kids can't: ghosts and ghouls, vampires and monsters, a world of darkness and danger, and above all the thing that kids aren't supposed to see: death! Is Trouble Sight a gift, then, or a curse?

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Overview

Like some other kids his age, Billy Fog has to wear glasses. But Billy has the gift of Trouble Sight, so when he takes his glasses off, he sees all the things that other kids can't: ghosts and ghouls, vampires and monsters, a world of darkness and danger, and above all the thing that kids aren't supposed to see: death! Is Trouble Sight a gift, then, or a curse?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Subtitled "original story, poems, and anarchic bestiaries," this book features adorable and gruesome illustrations and captures the mood of an Edward Gorey collection as seen through the prism of Tim Burton. Billy Fog is able to see things that most people can't, and he spends a lot of time thinking about death, nightmares, ouija boards, ghosts, and the Boogeyman. When his cat dies, he writes a letter to Santa Claus (as a trusted and all-knowing authority figure) asking him to explain the concept of death. The morbidly humorous story jumps back and forth between different formats including regular prose, poetry, and "The Gazette of the Bizarre." There are creepy and surreal characters like The Little Knife Girl, The Little Scissor Girl, and Puddle Princess. Billy Fog is a weird protagonist, and audiences will have some trouble empathizing with him. On the one hand, they might feel bad that he's so confused about death and the scary things that only he can see. On the other hand, when they see him being mean to his cat or his little sister, they might to start to feel like he deserves some punishment. The art is cute, cartoony, sweet, and childish, which belies its more serious nature. Bianco uses combinations of black-and-white and sepia-toned illustrations, often combining them into the foreground and background of his pages to great effect. Recommended for teens who are looking for an unusual and darkly comic adventure.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936393398
  • Publisher: Archaia
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Series: Billy Fog Series , #1
  • Edition description: Young Adult
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Guillaume Bianco was born in 1976. His imagination was fed by folk tales — both new ones such as those in the children’s books of Roald Dahl, and old ones from the collections of Guy de Maupassant — and especially by the songs of Georges Brassens to which he devoted boundless admiration. A bad pipe smoker, he eventually switched to common cigarettes and abandoned his guitar for a pen and paper, his drawings seeming a little more “right.” His wish: to tell stories for adults and children, address taboos, and raise big questions all while entertaining. And with Billy Fog, Eco, and Epictetus published in his native France and soon in America, his wish seems to be coming true!

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