From renowned dark fantasy artist Brom -- who could quite possibly be the love child of Walt Disney and H. P. Lovecraft -- comes The Plucker, a visually spectacular illustrated adult novel that mixes fairy-tale sensibilities with the nightmarish realm of horror.
In the summer of 1942, Thomas is an average American boy who loves his toys -- especially the ones his father (a naval captain) brings back from exotic ports of call. But when his dad returns with a strange spirit warden from Africa, he unknowingly sets in motion a drama that could imprison his son's soul forever. Trapped inside the spirit warden is the Plucker, a malevolent creature bent on stealing Tom's essence by destroying his toys, all of which contain a little bit of the boy's "gusto." Once Tom's spirit is emptied from his body, the Plucker can take over his flesh and wreak havoc in the corporeal world. But standing in the Plucker's way is Jack, an old jack-in-the-box recently discarded to the shadowy world of the Underbed. Armed with only a sword and a poison-tipped needle, Jack and his surviving friends -- Monkey, the wooden Nutcracker, a Native American doll named Little Bird, and the porcelain Snow Angel -- must somehow defeat the Plucker and its terrifying army of Foulthings in order to save the boy they love.
Fans of popular illustrated works like Doug Chiang and Orson Scott Card's Robota and The Runes of Elfland by Brian Froud and Ari Berk, which blend dazzling artwork with science fiction and fantasy narratives, need only pick up this truly stunning masterwork to appreciate Brom's dark genius. Paul Goat Allen