I first became aware of Christie Shinn’s intriguing artwork in Caligula Imperatore Insanum (Vol 1), where I fell in love with her ability to tell a story with her drawings. Shinn has the capability to bring emotion into her work, and that is extremely clear in A Murder of Crows: And Other Horrible Things to See.
In A Murder of Crows, Shinn gifts the reader a collection of artwork that is daring, uncomfortable, and downright creepy. Some images force readers to reflect upon oneself in painful depth, while others stare back at us, tempting us to look a little closer. Each image is fascinating and deserves more than a passing glance, for each one holds a story – and possibly a piece of Shinn herself – beside the readers the art absorbs along the way.
My only complaint is the collection is much too short. Not that I particularly wanted to keep turning the pages, not with the way Shinn can make one feel. It’s the clichéd double-edged sword. Shinn’s work is so profound that you can’t wait to see what the next pages hold, yet you’re terrified of what she will show you. Perhaps my favorite (and the one I stay away from the most) work from the collection is the simple drawing of a person crying with the words “You Suck.” on a reflective thought bubble in front of them. I simply cannot stop thinking about that image.
And, that is the true compliment of this art. An image that makes a person feel too much, experience a lifetime with one look, while making them want to turn around and run, never to come back. Shinn is a master at this, and the world is a better place for it.