Aug 19, 2011

Series: STITCHES, by David Small

I used to be afraid of graphic novels and Stitches is only the second one I have read that is not about Nazi Germany.

Stitches plays like a film and I read the entire book within an hour, only to flip it back over at the end and sart again.

David Small outlines his childhood in Stitches through vignettes that exemplify what many would consider an awkward and perhaps unfortunate life. Most of Small's story is somber, and indeed, his illustrations portray that. His father did not understand him and his mother is featured in hundreds of slides with a grim look on her face. 

As Small grows up, he starts to figure things out. He figures out how the lies of his childhood in the 1950's caused major, life-changing things to happen when he was a teen.

The moment from Stitches that makes the novel relevant to this series about gay parents is merely a few pages long and takes place when David was 15. He walks in on his mother and her best friend sleeping together.

Even though that moment is short and not as significant as most of the other moments in the book, I chose to highlight Stitches because the story proves how effed up and out of touch any parent can be, whether they are gay or straight. Just because David's mom was gay didn't mean she had anymore understanding or tolerance in her. In fact, it seems as though she had less than most, yet there is one three-inch by three-inch illustration that reconciles years of a tumultuous relationship.

That's a power graphic novels have, and David Small's novel is the most vivid graphic novel out there. Beyond its inclusion of a gay parental character, the book is beyond brilliant and clandestine in its approach. When one reads Stitches, the happiness is in the details.

You need to read Stitches, by David Small.


  1. I read this book in one sitting...totally gave me the creeps. I've read about a lot of people who love it, but I just don't know HOW I feel about it. I had to get a few MRIs this summer and thought about the book the whole time I was in the tunnel. Yikes!

  2. Interesting. I'll have to check this out. Although it seems kind of dark and hopeless--does it end on a brighter note?

  3. They talked about this book in Library of the Early Mind. I've been wanting to read it since but haven't gotten that far yet.

  4. Anita - I know what you mean, but for me, it was a few illustrations that reconciled it all and made me feel complete.

    Heather - You'll like it much.

    Alicia - It's a super, super fast read!