Ava’s Demon, by Michelle Czajkowski, showed up on my doorstep earlier this week. This incredibly heavy-for-its-size box was addressed to my husband. I didn’t recognize the return address let alone know how to pronounce the name attached to it. Then I remembered Tim had mentioned something about a Kickstarter reward coming sometime this week…
The book in the box was even gift wrapped. I found myself torn between leaving the pretty wrapping for my husband and just ripping it off to see what was so dang heavy! The wrapping paper lost, and I found myself looking at this incredibly simple, yet beautiful, hard-bound book cover.
To say that Ava’s Demon is beautiful is an understatement. The book measures almost two inches thick. Most of what those many pages contain is an illustrated story which is occasionally moved forward by character dialogue. It is a quick read if you don’t stop to look at the images…but why would you rush through such amazing art?
The art is so stylistically appealing and the color is so warm that all of the artistic aspects lend to telling the story as much as the dialogue itself.
This looks like it could be a picture book/graphic novel kids would enjoy—but looks can be deceiving. Be warned that there are f-bombs and quite a bit of conversation about suicide. Also, the story is called Ava’s Demon for a reason: Ava has a demon who is haunting her. The behavior of that demon is less like a house ghost from Harry Potter and more like a trapped soul from Constantine. My advice would be to read it before handing it over to school-aged children.
If you received the Kickstarter book, you might have seen pages that looked like pictures of playable videos. The videos themselves can also be found on the Ava’s Demon website (normally at the end of a chapter as part of the archive). The addition and quality of the videos to the web-comic series is unsurprising since Michelle Czajkowski interned at Pixar and worked at Dreamworks.
I wasn’t aware of Ava’s Demon until it showed up on my doorstep. It captured my attention so quickly and fully that I knew I had to share it with you. If you are interested in checking it out, Ava’s Demon is a web comic which is updated on Mondays and Thursdays (the hardcover Kickstarter reward book contains the first six chapters). If you fall in love with the art as much as I did, you can also buy the artwork in print or wearable forms.