"David Small's tale of a sad, isolated teenager is timely in the age of Trump." Rachel Cooke, The Observer
Wildly kaleidoscopic and furiously cinematic, Home After Dark is a literary tour-de-force that renders the brutality of adolescence in the so-called nostalgic 1950s, evoking classics such as The Lord of the Flies. Thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to California in search of a dream. Forced to fend for himself, Russell struggles to survive in Marshfield, a dilapidated town haunted by a sadistic animal killer and a ring of malicious boys who bully Russell for being "queer". Rescued from his booze-swilling father by Wen and Jian Mah, a Chinese immigrant couple who long for a child, Russell betrays them by running away with their restaurant's proceeds. Told through thousands of spliced images, Home After Dark is a new form of literature, a shocking graphic interpretation of cinema verite.
"Small's pen and ink drawings capture the awkward grace of teenage male bodies; his story is uncompromisingly bleak as Russell is tested again and again. Mute male anger stalks these pages, and it is entirely appropriate that it's a graphic novel of few words; Small's forte lies in the silent, cinematic montage, where each image echoes with Russell's loneliness. It's a hauntingly harsh coming-of-age tale."
"All the power of Home After Dark lies with [Small's] meticulous pen and waterproof ink drawings[...]his exquisite holding shots, stunning closeups and extended silent sequences do bring the movies immediately to mind; at times, you fancy you might almost hear the whirr of the projector."
--Rachel Cooke, The Observer
"A master graphic storyteller who has certainly captured male adolescence in 1950s America. Having to think about dodging high school bullies every day sure resonated with me! And Russell's sexual predicament was handled in a very original way."
--Robert Crumb, author of The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
"...young Russell is forced to come of age on a path that involves abandonment, a local dog killer and gruesome bullies who reserve their most ferocious sadism for anyone they decide is "queer". This is not a California or a childhood that anyone in their right mind would ever dream of." --Strong Words Magazine
"[Home After Dark] is a poem-in-pictures, evocative and heart breaking and simple and pure. And I am not sure I will ever recover from it[...]Few words, cinematic pictures, dazzling art."
--Jules Feiffer, author of the best-selling Kill My Mother Trilogy
"Home After Dark is well crafted. Small is a talented cartoonist and the opening sequence is particularly impressive..."
About the Author
David Small author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Stitches, is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal, the Christopher Medal, and the E. B. White Award. He and his wife, the writer Sarah Stewart, live in Michigan.