Afraid of Everything: An Alphabetical Compendium of People’s Weirdest Fears is written for those who not only have fears, but who are eager to confront them and find new ones. Twenty-six tales, written A to Z, explore all kinds of fears from germs and filth, to cockroaches and spider, to being watched and being surprised. Some phobias are presented in a one-page story, while others are demonstrated through poetry. Each story is accompanied by exceptional artwork that sets the perfect stage for the story.
After the alphabetical tales, the reader is treated to eleven more fears, each with artwork from a variety of artists. Finally, the writer and illustrator give the readers a behind-the-scenes look at how the project came about, including original drafts of art and details on the creative process and Kickstarter campaign.
Writer Adam Tierney states in the beginning of the book that he wrote this for his eight-year-old son and eight-year-olds across the world who love horror as much as he. I’m not sure if he realized that for those adult like Adam (including myself), he’s created a nostalgic glimpse into our horror-filled childhoods which will make older readers long for those nights of flashlights and books under the covers. For children, he wrote an accessible, fun, and easy-to-read encyclopedia of fears to feed their desire to be scared.
Artist Matthieu Cousin delivers whimsical and creepy illustrations that perfectly complement each story. Each picture has just enough fear to invoke a bit of horror for child readers, but not so much that they’ll cower under their beds for weeks. They deserve scrutiny, as a quick look won’t reveal all of the amusing additions that make every picture great. My favorite (although they are all incredible) has to be A is for Arachnophobia. There’s something about the spider-girl that makes me think she’d be a great character in her own book – and perfect for child cosplay!
No matter your fear, you’ll find a reason to be even more afraid in Afraid of Everything. Tuck yourself and/or your kids into bed, turn off the lights, grab your flashlights, and get ready to be chilled to the bone with this unique compilation of phobias.
Creative Team: Writer: Adam Tierney; Illustrator: Matthieu Cousin
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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