Roman Dirge’s Something at the Window is Scratching, first published in 1998 in black and white, is being printed for the first time in color by Titan Comics. The collection of short, illustrated poems was released July 22nd.
The poems in this collection tell stories that are at times creepy, at times hilarious, and occasionally thought-provoking. The characters include a vampire, a deer and a bee in love, the Sandman’s orphan, and a spider who plays host to a ghost.
The shortest poem is only two lines; the longest consist of short stanzas broken up over several pages. Each accompanies vivid illustrations that embellish the story in ways your own imagination probably would not have done.
It’s been alternately called a book for children and a children’s book for adult readers. Most of the poems in the text are more than appropriate for kids over a certain age who have a nontraditional sense of humor, or enjoy strange tales. The one exception is “Little Lisa Loverbumps,” a rhymed account of a woman committing suicide by walking into the sea. When you compare it to the other stories in this collection, you feel that you got much more from the two-line poem about a pirate squid. It removed the humor from dark humor, and briefly removed excitement from the text.
From the character’s faces to the background pattern on the flyleaf, the coloring of the art is fantastic. It pops in a way that will be appealing to young readers, and visually pleasing to all fans of illustrated texts. I’d definitely add a large printed copy to my shelf, somewhere between the kwaidan and the picture books.