Just in time to miss the holidays, I have in my hands, The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, from hitREcord and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is a great gift that you can give almost anyone, well, except someone who is blind, as it would have to be explained to them. Actually, that’s a great idea.
I will be honest, JGL being involved with this gave my interest a reason to peak, as his work on the big screen has been quite good of late. It is nice to see someone who is so clearly a star, make something like this that is the reverse of flashy. It doesn’t seem self-indulgent, or an advertisement for the JGL franchise.
At first, this collection of tiny stories, each coming with its own drawing, is a little too cute, but the longer you hold it, the more its subliminal power resonates. The book itself reminds of an art school freshman’s journal that has been left absently in the lunchroom, a stranger picks it up only to discover it is almost too good to give back to this student. Each little page gives a different riddle, or joke, a conundrum wrapped in a riddle, or a funny little saying.
I especially like the redacted children’s story, ‘Once Upon a Time” then a series of black lines, like a CIA document, and then the words, “The End”. Then there is the funny “You can’t sleep, lets can’t sleep together”, page, that has a weird drawing of some furniture oddly covered with sheets, with almost human like figures poking out. Each drawing puts the one before it to shame, the artwork on display here is obsessive, and viewed with a keen eye for the whimsy.
When you’re finished with this lovely book, look at the back page, where someone (JGL?) gives the company stance on how this book came along. It certainly is refreshing to see a publisher get behind a labor of love like this, and a group of people acting out as a collective; to foster, collect, and become champions of this fantastic symphony of voices.