The Motherless Oven
By Rob Davis
Paperback, 160 pp, $19.95
In Scarper Lee's world, parents don't make children – children make parents. Scarper's father is his pride and joy, a wind-powered brass construction with a billowing sail. His mother is a Bakelite hairdryer. In this world, it rains knives and household appliances have souls. There are no birthdays – only deathdays. Scarper knows he has just three weeks to live. As his deathday approaches, he is forced from his routine and strikes out into the unknown – where friendships are tested and authority challenged. This unsettling and fiercely original coming of age story from Rob Davis (The Complete Don Quixote) traces a journey through a bizarre, distorted teenage landscape: a world not so different from our own.
Rob Davis began self-publishing his own comic, the highly experimental SLANG, in 1989. From there, Rob made the leap from experimental into traditional when he was employed by Fleetway to reinvent British comics icon Roy of the Rovers. After a time drawing Judge Dredd, he began working as an illustrator and cartoonist for newspapers (including The Guardian) and children’s book publishers (including Scholastic). In the last few years, Rob has returned to comics, writing and drawing Doctor Who for Panini. His books for SelfMadeHero include The Motherless Oven, The Can Opener's Daughter and The Complete Don Quixote.
"Brimming with invention, Davis subverts and deepens the school adventure yarn and asks if anyone can escape their fate."— The Independent
"You're drawn in by its strange world and you come to care about its characters, and both are so vivid that the result is an outstanding piece of work."— SFX Magazine
"A graphic novel of incredible resonance and absolute, inscrutable beauty, at once a coming-of-age and coming-to-terms tale."— Library Journal