This review is from: The Lovely Horrible Stuff (Hardcover)
As a fan of Campbell's work I was delighted to receive this book. Campbell has moved his art style on a notch, and is experimenting with new techniques in this work, some of which work really well. There's some wonderful panels composed of photographs retouched with Campbell art, and the use of collage makes the reader question the veracity of the tale being told and the nature of story-telling itself. Campbell seems to be suggesting through his artistic choices that stories are in part a truth and in part a fiction, a hybrid of fact filtered through the human viewpoint.
The book is divided into two parts, each of which have strengths and weaknesses. In the first Campbell depicts autobiographical scenes musing on the role money plays in our lives and debates the merits of commerce and art. There are some delightful scenes with Shakespeare, and tales of Campbell's father-in-law are balanced with tales of Campbell's relationship with his own daughter. By the end of the first part Campbell has spun a yarn reminiscent of the childhood game hot potato.
In the second half Campbell revisits his themes using the Islanders of Yap and their usage of stone discs as a form of currency. It's a lively narrative that causes pause for thought and moments of genuine wonder. The book ends with a touch of pathos, as Campbell draws his threads together and leaves us to reflect on the nature of money, art and a hankering for an idyllic holiday which lasts just that little bit longer at somebody else's expense.