Deep dark fears, by Fran Krause

Deep dark fears Book Cover Deep dark fears
Fran Krause
Ten speed press
Sep 29 2015

I've been following Fran Krause and her Deep dark fears comics on Tumblr (go look!) for a long time now, so I wasn't surprised to find myself utterly charmed by the same fears - and some previously unseen ones! - in published book form.

The beautiful, beautiful thing about these illustrated pieces is that it helps to make you - or, well, me - more comfortable with all those little insanities we're stuck with after our child minds have wrongly interpreted some kind of input, a well-meaning relative used a monster threat to keep you away from a dangerous thing or place,  or, as an adult, you just had the wrong association or idea at the wrong time and it stuck.

Me, for instance, I'm afraid of crocodiles in the forest, because my grandfather thought I wouldn't be worried enough about the venomous vipers who occasionally nested there. (Or the woodticks!)   I'm scared to death of mirrors, because of more or less every horror movie in the world.  I'm scared that I'll fall one day and my glasses will break and the glass shards will damage my eyes.   And every time I cross the street, I wonder if I was just killed by a car and just haven't noticed yet.


I think this is normal, though these freak ideas take different shapes for different people.  This collection proves it.

While the sparse text descriptions of fears are poignant enough, they're perfectly matched - and made into something more - by the art.  It's not hyper-detailed or fancy, just enough to put faces on things, to show clearly where the arm is exposed to the invisible guillotine at the edge of the bed - it's a little bit like how I, at least, visually recall dreams I've had. Not a lot of rich texture, just clear focus points to make what's out-of-focus that much more ominous.

This will make a good gift for the neurotics in your life. Or for yourself.  Really, what's more enjoyable than a cozy visual representation of how everyone, everyone, is a seething mess of nonsensical fears?

(I was initially afraid I might adopt some new fears after seeing all of these, but no. They need those special cosmic forces of terror in order to infect you.)

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