Billy Fog and the Gift of Trouble Sight
written by Guillame Bianco
I fell in love with this book. Let’s just start there. First, I thought it was hilariously subversive and touched with a refreshing dark side (there’s a ouija board in the back of the book, for example, and a long section that explains how to use it. Then there’s a section on getting rid of Tulpas—ethereal manifestations responsible for bad things happening to good people. There’s more, but that gives you an idea.)
The book opens with Billy, a relatively normal boy (who loves to torment his sister), discovering his dead cat. Sadness over this death propels the dark turn of the story, first with Billy’s fascination with insects and other gross things, and later with more morbid things…like Mary Emily James, “the little knife girl,” who just loves killing things and people. From there we move on to vampire poetry, contacting the dead, dealing with spirits, and…well, you get the idea.
Billy Fog and the Gift of Trouble Sight is the work of French artist and writer Guillaume Bianco, who culls some of his own life experiences (and interest in the occult) to inform his book. In doing so, he creates a mischievous (some would say downright twisted and mean) protagonist who is obsessed with death.
The book delves deeply into the bizarre, which is a reason to love it all the more. It won’t be a story for everyone. But for those who enjoy a little twist to their tales, they may just, like me, find a new book to fall in love with.