Leah Hayes - Funeral of the Heart (4 stars)

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Leah Hayes - Funeral of the Heart

(Fantagraphics)

SHORT STORIES

Welcome to the weird world of Leah Hayes. Where an elderly couple digs mysterious tunnels at night. Where a young male kitchen hand becomes a duck-slaughtering expert when his girlfriend develops an unusual illness. Or where the hairiest man in the world can become a beloved author. Brooklynite Hayes has a penchant for the odd and the unsettling, the bizarre and the morbid. Her stories are awash with themes of obsession, recurrence, coincidence and tragedy. If her writing (which often stretches out over many black blank pages) bears comparison to contemporary Miranda July then her illustration is the bizarre meeting point of Hogarth, Paula Rego and David Shrigley.

Hayes, who also makes a living from her band Scary Mansion is clearly a freak talent, a scratchboard renaissance woman with a gift for subtlety and menace.

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