BY SEAN CLARK

Editor: Joseph Gordon Levitt

2011, hitRECord

Filed Under: Short Stories, Poetry, Graphic Novels

As the name implies, this is a short little book filled with “stories” that are mostly less than a sentence. Each bite-sized story is paired with a drawing: in a way they’re almost like one panel comic strips, but also not at all like that. While some are funny, some manage to plumb some nice depth, especially for their size. It’s not an impossible thing to do. (The not-exactly-true tale of Hemingway’s shortest story–“For sale, baby shoes, never worn.”–comes to mind.)  Most importantly this is a collaborative book, curated like a lit mag. The art is varied and interesting, and the range of the stories is pleasantly surprising. And yes, that’s the actor Joseph Gordon Levitt* who runs the show.

Tiny Stories is an attractive, if not substantive, little book; a nice thing to have on your shelf, or to leave out on a coffee table. To call it more than a diversion would probably be overdoing things, but it’s a good one. I wrapped up my copy to give as a Christmas present, but then decided to order another for myself. I can see myself quickly flipping through this many times before I’m done with it.

Similar Reads: Our own Eric Markowsky’s collaborative story, “Other Doors, Other Rooms,” over at Camera Obscura was in the same spirit as this.

[This book is currently being advertised on the site–that’s how I found it.]

*more or less completely unrelated side-note, he’s the lead in a very smartly written movie titled Brick, a noir-style film set in a high school, which is one of my favorite movies of the last few years.

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