Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night...

Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night...

5.0 1
by Art Spiegelman
     
 

We planted a seed in some of the most fertile minds of the planet: cartoonists, novelists, and children's book artists. We asked them to start a story with the words:

It Was a Dark and Silly Night...

We wanted to know...What happened next???

What grew from the seed is this generous, chock-full,

…  See more details below

Overview

We planted a seed in some of the most fertile minds of the planet: cartoonists, novelists, and children's book artists. We asked them to start a story with the words:

It Was a Dark and Silly Night...

We wanted to know...What happened next???

What grew from the seed is this generous, chock-full, over-the-top jungle of silly comic book stories that show how rich the human imagination is. Lemony Snicket and Richard Sala imagined a dark and silly night where a young girl chases after a Yeti. Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson imagined a dark and silly night where kids throw the greatest party they ever had...in a graveyard! William Joyce tells us about kids whose Silly Ray saves the world from warrior florists. This collection of wild and silly imaginings will tickle your funny bone for years to come.

Featuring: Lemony Snicket • Neil Gaiman • William Joyce • Kaz • Art Spiegelman • J. Otto Seibold • Vivian Walsh • Gahan Wilson • Barbara McClintock • Richard Sala • Martin Handford • R. Sikoryak • Patrick McDonnell • Tony Millionaire • Carlos Nine • Basil Wolverton • Joost Swarte

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For this third Little Lit anthology, Spiegelman and Mouly asked contributors to start a story with the phrase "It was a dark and silly night." Diverse participants, including Patrick McDonnell ("Mutts"), J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh, achieve results that range from outstanding to so-so. In the standout category, Lemony Snicket and "Evil Eye" artist Richard Sala make "silly" an acronym for "Somewhat Intelligent, Largely Laconic Yeti." A girl searches for this snow-covered beast, and the strangely uplifting outcome will surprise those who expect a series of unfortunate events. William Joyce, in a mock-1909 newspaper strip, makes a happy return to the artwork of his Leaf Men. His outrageous tale of "Giggleillium, the long-searched-for silly atom" does homage to cartoonist Winsor McCay and the sci-fi of Melies and Verne. Less successful is an entry that comes courtesy of Neil Gaiman (Coraline) and Gahan Wilson, who draws big-eyed, troll-like kids. In their ghoulish tale of a tot party in a zombie-filled graveyard, no one comes to harm; instead, the nostalgic corpses demand a singalong of "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Surreal turns by Joost Swarte and Carlos Nine also disappoint, but an ineffably weird reprint of a 1952 "Jumpin' Jupiter" comic by Basil Wolverton recalls early Dr. Seuss. As usual, there are a couple of games too. The endpapers, designed by Martin Handford (Where's Waldo?), picture monsters invading a city inhabited by the Little Lit characters (as well as humans). Barbara McClintock (Dahlia), in her singular neo-Victorian style, creates side-by-side images of a teddy-bear picnic and challenges readers to "Find the 12 differences." This alternately cute and creepy volume lives up to its subtitle. Ages 4-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The third in the "Little Lit" series again gathers a group of authors, illustrators, and comic's creators. They have all been told to begin their contribution with the title quote. Lemony Snicket and Richard Sala combine their talents in a strange comic-book-style tale of a lonely girl and her search for a Yeti. In J. Otto Siebold and Vivian Walsh's strip, two penguins have an adventure with bags of gold and a fox. William Joyce's cartoon hero Art Aimesworth and his cohorts sail off to save the tulips of Holland. The zany strips of Neil Gaiman with Gahan Wilson, Basil Wolverton, Joost Swarte, Carlos Nine, and Kaz border on the weird. Barbara McClintock offers a puzzle: find what's different in two pictures. Patrick McDonnell's tale is simple fun, while R. Sikoryak offers a do-it-yourself strip. This gang of inventive storytellers offers a varying menu of responses to the challenge, some more delicious than others, each in their own style. Their collective efforts help us see relationships, to break down arbitrary walls between such art forms as comics, picturebooks, and even graphic novels, while we have fun. There are puzzles included, with answers, and wild end-papers by Martin Handford. Notes on all the contributors are included. 2003, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 8 to Adult.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up-Ask 15 authors and artists from the picture book and/or comics world to start a story with "It was a dark and silly night-" and you get the selections that comprise this third volume in the series of cartoon creations and collaborations. Hallmarks of the first two "Little Lit" books are all here: stylish graphic design and layout, full-color art, large format, and quality heavyweight paper. Several of the same names are here, also-including William Joyce, Kaz, and Martin Handford-but intriguing new pairs appear for the first time. The nicely mysterious circularity of Lemony Snicket's story, which begins "In this case `silly' stands for- Somewhat Intelligent, Largely Laconic Yeti," plays out against Richard Sala's fairly straightforward cartooning, enhancing the deadpan absurdity of the tale. Neil Gaiman's creepy saga of a ghouls-just-wanna-have-fun cemetery party derives much of its goofiness from Gahan Wilson's trademark goggle-eyed, lumpish kids and creatures. Other standouts include Joost Swarte's domestic drama turned slapstick, complete with a detached head sewn back on, which has the look of a slightly surreal "Tintin" adventure, and comics legend Basil Wolverton's "Jumpin' Jupiter" spaceman panels from 1952, still fresh and funny, are full of punny detail and dizzy wordplay. Less successful are J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh's postmodern penguins (including Chongo Chingi from Penguin Dreams [Chronicle, 1999]) on a flat and unfunny journey from the South Pole to Hollywood, and Barbara McClintock's picture puzzle, which is a bit too dark and indistinct to be entirely successful. On the whole, however, the variety of art and text, from the bizarre to the benign, offers a cast of cuckoos for just about every taste.-Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
For this third excursion into "Little Lit," 15 authors, illustrators, and cartoonists submit riffs on the title's opening line. Not unsurprisingly, the results vary widely in tone, from a poignant tale of children setting out on solitary quests by Lemony Snicket and Richard Sala, and another, from Patrick McDonnell (creator of the comic strip Mutts), about a suddenly-shy Moon coaxed into rising, to a wild graveyard party chronicled by Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson. Readers with retro tastes will enjoy William Joyce's dustup between intrepid Art Aimsworth, Boy Crimefighter, and a gang of warrior florists ("herbicidal maniacs") out to arrange all the tulips in Holland; Where's Waldo? fans will pore over Martin Handford's thickly populated endpapers; Kaz and Carlos Nine contribute offbeat episodes with more sophisticated designs and sensibilities. Like the previous volumes, this will appeal most to adults, and to visually oriented younger audiences on the verge of moving up to graphic novels. (Graphic Fiction. 10-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060286286
Publisher:
HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:
08/05/2003
Series:
Little Lit Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.58(w) x 13.47(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

The Pulitzer prize winning author of Maus and Maus II, Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in Rego Park, New York. He is also the co-founder/editor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comix and graphics and the illustrator of the lost classic The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March. Spiegelman's work has been published in more than sixteen languages and has appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, and Playboy, among others. He has been a contributing editor and cover artist for The New Yorker since 1992.

Spiegelman attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City and SUNY Binghamton and received an honorary doctorate of letters from SUNY Binghamton in 1995. He began working for the Topps Gum Company in 1966, as association that lasted over twenty years. There he created novelty cards, stickers and candy products, including Garbage Candy, Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids. He began producing underground comix in 1966, and in 1971 moved to San Francisco, where he lived until 1975.

His work began appearing in such publications as East Village Other, Bijou and Young Lust Comix. In 1975-76, he, along with Bill Griffith, founded Arcade, The Comic Revue. His book, Breakdowns, an anthology of his comics, was published in 1977.

Spiegelman moved back to New York City in 1975, and began doing drawing and comix for The New York Times, Village Voice and others. He became an instructor at The School of Visiual Arts from 1979-1987. In 1980, Spiegelman and his wife, Francoise Mouly, started the magazine RAW, which has over the years changed the public's perceptionof comics as an art form. It was in RAW that Maus was first serialized. In 1986, Pantheon Books published the first half of Maus and followed with Maus II in 1991. In 1994 he designed and illustrated the lost Prohibition Era classic by Joseph Moncure March, The Wild Party. In 1997, Spiegelman's first book for children, Open Me ... I'm a Dog was published by HarperCollins.

Art Spiegelman has received The National Book Critics Circle nomination in both 1986 and 1991, the Guggenheim fellowship in 1990, and a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His art has been shown in museums and gallery shows in the United States and abroad, including a 1991 show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

He and his wife, Francoise Mouly, live in lower Manhattan with their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

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It Was a Dark and Silly Night... 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MenaW More than 1 year ago
Great stories and great pictures. Probably best for 10 year olds. You'll treasure the work by notables such as Richard Sala, Lemony Snickett and Vivian Walsh.