She’s “slayed” pianos with her punk cabaret, spent time busking as a living statue called “The Eight Foot Bride” and successfully added an expletive as her middle name, and now, Amanda Palmer has written a graphic novel for kids.
“Evelyn Evelyn,” co-written with fellow musician Jason Webley and illustrated by Cynthia von Buhler, chronicles the life of conjoined twin sisters Eva and Lynn Neville, orphans whose life has been a series of unfortunate events.
If parents were scared of Maurice Sendak’s new book about an pig’s chaotic birthday party, they haven’t seen “Evelyn Evelyn yet.”
The graphic novel is sure to attract children, who will want to follow the twists and turns of the twins ill-starred life much as they did for the “Lemony Snicket” series.
But the subject matter is pretty dark — at one point, the twins lose their best friends, a pair of conjoined twin elephants, on Sept. 11, 2001 — as are the images, especially one recurring bloody chainsaw.
Palmer thinks that shouldn’t stop kids from reading it.
“I do think children's books can still be children's books and incredibly dark and morose. I mean, look at the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales or, um, Neil Gaiman’s stuff,” Palmer told USA Today. (Palmer married graphic novel and comic book icon Gaiman at the beginning of this year.)
“Kids love dark twisted stuff — in fact, I think you could argue that they need it. I would simply advise that parents reading this book to their children not explain some of the more adult in-jokes.”
It is a similar argument to the one Sendak made recently after the release of his “debaucherous” book “Bumble-Ardy.”
He told the New York Times that while children’s books have tried to “keep [kids] calm, keep them happy, keep them snug and safe ... I got out of that, and I was considered outlandish. So be it.”
And reading “Evelyn Evelyn,” parents can cheer the happy ending, in which the twins grow up to find success in a musical duo.
Also called Evelyn Evelyn, the duo just concluded a world tour, with Palmer and Webley playing the parts, and are now home in Walla Walla, Wash., where they celebrated their 26th birthday.
“They stayed at home in Walla Walla, actually. They don’t go out much,” Palmer told USA Today. “Jason and I had an ice cream cake delivered to their house with a special Twix bar crumble topping. They were very pleased.”