Book Review – Everything Is Teeth

GoodReads Rating: 5 stars

Everything Is Teeth is a graphic novel collaboration between artist Joe Sumner, and writer Evie Wyld. The story is almost a memoir, based on Evie’s childhood memories of visiting Australia, as well as her childhood fascination with sharks. I related very much to this, being a shark obsessed child myself, who would imagine create coral reefs teeming with all kinds of fish and sharks and other ocean beasts lurking beneath me. There was a particular pool in a town close to the one in which I grew up that had a wave machine, which looked like a giant barred cage build into the side of the wall under the water, I always envisioned the many sharks that were kept in that cage, waiting for a stray leg to get too close to the bars.

This book shocked me, not only because of how graphic and beautiful the art was, but because of how dark the short would go at the turn of a page. The book has a slight air of sadness about it, which comes to the surface now and again, be it in the images of Evie’s father seemly drinking too much, or her brother getting involved with the wrong people and getting hurt. I won’t say any more about that because it is fascinating to me how surprised I was by these darkened elements of the book.

Evie’s character in the book is so beautifully observant, watching and detailing everything around her, which is sometimes a hindrance to her when she imagines terrible shark related accidents happening to everyone she loves. The sharks are a constant fear for her, they follow her around no matter where she is. Much like all childhood anxieties.

The art in the book is astounding. The way in which the main body of the novel is drawn in a cartoon style, black and white format is wonderful. You add to that the wonderful detail of everything from under the surface of the water, the fish, the sharks, the blood in the water, being drawn and colored with such glorious detail. The art got quite, please ignore the pun, graphic, in places which was something else which was shockingly wonderful and beautiful.

This book is unlike any graphic novel I have read before. Outside of things like Marvel or Saga, I haven’t really experienced much of this like of work. I am now hooked thanks to Joe’s stunning art and Evie’s beautiful writing, and I will definitely be looking into more books like this, and well as more of Joe and Evie’s work. A stunning book overall, and a refreshing take on the graphic novel.

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