Review by Ian Keogh
Beyond the obvious of two top talents collaborating and letting their prodigious imaginations run wild, there’s a fascination to Twisted Tales. It’s in the speculation regarding the collaboration. We’re presented with 42 full page illustrations by François Boucq accompanied by the briefest of stories by Alejandro Jodorowsky, some a mere two lines. Alternatively, the presentation is of 42 short stories by Jodorowsky accompanied by Boucq’s illustrations. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? No doubt somewhere online, possibly in the original French, the secret origin is revealed, but it’s surely more fun to let the content be slowly absorbed while conjecturing. Of course, it’s entirely viable that there is no hard and fast rule applicable. Perhaps Boucq’s beautifully composed illustration of an archer stood on his bed in his slippers about to fire an arrow through the skylight at the moon prompted Jodorowsky’s musing on destiny. Equally, perhaps Jodorowsky’s tragic tale of a kindly couple resulted in Boucq’s cover illustration. What is beyond doubt is the extraordinary variety supplied, from down to Earth homilies to science fiction, fantasy and horror. Many moments of laughter await, some shocks even though the picture is always visible while reading the text, and vast, vast imagination.
The sample spread is the longest text piece, but representative as a wise parable, and funny. Boucq’s illustration also has a duality about it, simultaneously ridiculous and perfectly composed, down to the dog being an outsized poodle. It’s a combination applied throughout, with Jodorowsky’s contributions veering from nightmares to the spiritual. Lack of insight is a common theme, with lack of sight occurring enough to also merit mention.
Twisted Tales is a very quick read, but a rewarding one, and most folk will be disappointed there’s no more when the final page is turned.