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Everything is Teeth
Evie Wyld and Joe Sumner
Jonathan Cape








When did you first realise that you are mortal?  Did the discovery that you, and everyone you knew, would one day die, have a profound affect on you?

If it did, then Everything is Teeth may resonate.  I had an anxious childhood and remember being frightened of death.  Like many children I also had a ghoulish fascination with gruesome things.  My father had a book of shark attack photographs and I would sit for hours looking at the images of horseshoe-shaped bite marks and limbs with crescent chunks of flesh torn from them.

everything is teeth

I also happened to grow up in the seventies, the decade of Jaws –Spielberg’s wonderful 1975 movie about a New England community menaced by a great white shark and Jaws the villain from the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker – both of which gave me nightmares.

Everything is Teeth therefore seemed very familiar to me in its themes.  The shark is a spectre of death that haunts the memoir and its associations are fear, anxiety and blood.  This makes the graphic memoir a dark book to read, but it also quite touching and melancholy.  The illustrations are interesting in that the family are cartoon-like but the shark is very photo-realistic.  It’s almost as though the sharks, and therefore death and loss, are the most real things in it.

Everything is teeth, even the shark’s skin has a bite, and pain is an inescapable fact of life.