As an added treat, today’s mini-review shall be accompanied by a wonderful interview from one half of the duo speaking on the dear Twins’ behalf. I speak of course of the lovely and talented Ms. Amanda Palmer, and if you didn’t already know she is just as funny as she is lovely.
However, first, the review!
The first thing I noticed about Evelyn Evelyn was that it was sent to me as two books. Well that was just utterly perfect, wasn’t it? How else would such a fantastic tale of twos begin if not by being two separate books? Really, it’s the only way such a tale could ever be told. After all, how could one simple book possibly do justice to these two darling little girls and their unfortunate tale?
No, it had to be two. Which brings us to its next most impressive feature, the subtitle, A Tragic Tale In Two Tomes.
As mentioned on Steve Niles’ “No Peace For Dead Men”, I am always a sucker for a catchy title, so I dove in, easily prepared to quite enjoy myself.
Inside there are many wonderful and terrible things to behold as the twins tale pours out from each beautifully arted page. Cynthia von Buhler brings to life for us a beautiful tragic tale in poise and grace. Meanwhile the wit and subtlety of the writing lead the reader on down a horrifying history if events, all the while keeping the reader safe by never looking too far beyond the surface of things. This is perfect of course, for speaking from various personal experiences, this is exactly how a child sees things. To create such a dark and twisted world and yet keep it so almost harmlessly innocent is a brilliant thing, and they deliver it perfectly.
Overall Assessment: Another Dark Horse title perfect for anyone with even just a hint of goth in them, which as I also mentioned prior, is pretty much every Dark Horse fan in the world.
Now! Onto the interview…
N – So my first question is one of bemused basic curiosity.
It says in the subtitle “As told by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley”. Now, I can just picture the two of you sitting down in full dress with a dusty bored looking stenographer and looking at each other once before unloading the tragic yet lovely tale of the twins upon the world.
Is this anywhere in the ballpark, or was this more something worked out over many a friendly backstory discussion, rather than a single solitary spontaneous story weaving?
AFP – Well, the twins aren’t very forthcoming about their tragic past. As you could imagine…I mean, it’s a grim story. So Jason and I also had to take great care in how their story was related back to The World. And the twins had full approval. But if you read carefully and listen to the album, there’s very little in the comic book that isn’t also revealed in *some* shape or form in one of the songs written by the twins themselves. We tried to respect their weird boundaries.
N – What’s it like working with such a close friend in the industry? Clearly Jason must be reliable as you two and the twins have to work *quite* closely together, what are your favorite parts about working with him?
AFP- Honestly, the biggest reason I did this project was to spend time with Jason, who I treasure as one of my closest friends and confidants.
When you’re constantly touring and working (and you’re a road warrior/workaholic, like we are) you start realizing that one of the only ways to connect with your friends is to make a project with them.
So we did. There was also a sense of disbelief, from both of us, at each step of this project, as if we couldn’t fathom why we were taking it yet one step further. But we kept going, and that was the fun of it. Sort of like a more creative double-dog-dare-hot-dog eating contest. Or something.
N - I figure your knowledge of classical, hell, literature in all it’s forms must be quite versatile; both yours and Jason’s. Did you guys already have the accompanying twin quotes in mind before hand, or did you guys hunt them down later? I imagine the Madonna quote was something you already had on hand like myself with my plethora of Bowie, Mercury, and Gerard Way “ism”s.
AFP - Ah, Jason has to get all the credit for those amazing quotes. They were collected along the way. He’s a genius, he is.
N – Speaking of people worth quoting, I immediately spotted that Dear You album while skimming before I had even begun reading the text. Are you the Jawbreaker fan or is that Jason?
AFP- Well, I grew up in Boston and he grew up in Seattle. One of us worshiped Jawbreaker, and one of us interned for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I’ll let you tease it out.
N - Do you guys have a favorite track? Or was it just to mark the 1996 disbanding? I’m inescapably drawn to Accident Prone for sweet sentimental melancholic purposes. Makes me feel for their feelings as it were.
AFP - I still only think of Jawbreaker as something you can eat. You’ll have to ask Jason. Sorry, that kind of ruined the mystery, didn’t it?
N – I feel so bad for Turtle Boy, how did you and Jason come up with the twins companions for the circus? Were their elephants inspired into existence by the tragic irony of their final days or did they come first and their deaths later?
AFP - The elephants weren’t so tragic at their inception. They were actually the brainchild of Jason’s fiddling with a major-chord-only red little accordion someone gave me as a Christmas gift. He was up for the challenge of using every damn button on the damn thing to make a song. Limitations! They Work!
N - I should mention by the way, that when I saw them being fed I thought three thoughts simultaneously. First, yum! Second, cute, and third, I don’t think elephants should be eating cotton candy though. (I was raised in foster care, most of my thoughts come in yum, yea, and aww. Lol.)
AFP- If you follow the story, the cotton candy actually leads to their fatal case of Elephantine Diphtheria. Not so good to eat for elephants.
N – So tell us, I’m sure the readers want to know as much as I do, what is your favorite part of the twins tale, Amanda?
AFP - I love Sandy Fishnets. How could I not? She’s such a perfectly beautiful tragic character, in every way. I don’t think you can go wrong with an indentured child porn model…I mean, it’ll always end in tears. I also love that both Jason and I were on the same page about Cynthia drawing her to look a little bit like Marica Brady.
N – Lastly, as I read a private copy from Dark Horse, I was not given the honor and privilege of reading your husband’s fine words on the matter. So, for the sake of the readers, was is it good? Can you tell it to us in your own words? I feel left out.
AFP - Ha! OUR PLOY WORKED!
Hahaha!! Touché, Ms. Palmer, touché. Amazing interview, again thank you so much for your time.
Now! If this hasn’t been quite enough AFP goodness for you all, you are quite in luck. Please feel free to head over to the Dark Horse site and read more wonderful things about Evelyn Evelyn from Jason, Amanda, and Neil. This release is quite the event, as well it should be coming from some of my favorite creators teaming up with my favorite publishing company. - N