Writer/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr live, work, raise kids and make books together in the hayloft of an old barn in Chestertown, Maryland. Since 2006, they have collaborated on more than 50 illustrated titles, all published by their two small presses: Idiots'Books (satirical picture books for adults) and Bobbledy Books (books and music for kids). Robbi and Matthew also teach, speak and run workshops on collaboration between artists and writers. They blog daily about family, creativity and life in the barn (idiotsbooks.com and bobbledybooks.com). Ten Thousand Stories is the first of their books that someone else has had the gall to publish.
Just the titles [of the ten basic stories] suggest their frisky,
dadaist quality: 'The Sordid Aftermath of Drunken Karaoke, ' 'The
Exquisite Torment of Maternal Deception, ' 'The Uncanny Allure of
Cheerful Livestock, ' 'The Temporary Blessings of Suggestive
Lederhosen' as well as six others equally unsettling. All of them
relate tales of desperate yearning, lost hopes, sexual
transgression and broken hearts and bodies. This same slightly
macabre Edward Gorey/Lemony Snicket style comes through in the new
narratives that result by haphazardly shuffling the strips.... What
draws me to the various books of Swanson and Behr - there are more
than 50 - is their never-ending exuberance and flair for mischief.
- Michael Dirda, the Washington Post
Ten Thousand Stories takes ten sordid short, short stories illustrated with depraved misfits and then horizontally divvies up all the pages into quarters, giving readers the chance to create 10,000 unique stories and accompanying illustrations. With just a few flips of the pages, tales like The Sordid Aftermath of Drunken Karaoke and The Uncanny Allure of Cheerful Livestock become The Tragic Habits of Eccentric Messiahs. The authors have done a great job keeping everything lively without anything coming off like a gimmick. - Imprint
The book is made up of 10 morbidly funny stories about eccentrics ('The Puzzling Habits of Eccentric Messiahs, ' 'The Intoxicating Thrill of Combative Lovers') who all seem to end up somewhere unfortunate. Behr's illustrations have a scratchy, just-fallen-out-of-bed, Ralph Steadman quality, while Swanson's stories are vividly episodic that isn't damaged by the inherent randomization. - PublishersWeekly.com