The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy
And Other Stories
Published by Harper Entertainment in 1997, Tim Burton’s illustrated book of poems gave birth to a wide variety of loveably macabre characters, such as Stain Boy and The Boy With Nails in his Eyes. Many of these characters have also found their way into and a toy range. The twenty-three tales are equally amusing and tragic, but even when the fate of the freakish characters is grim, Burton’s humour shines through, such as in this memorable line from the Robot Boy tale – He never forgave her unholy alliance: a sexual encounter with a kitchen appliance.
Dark Horse have produced four sets of Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys inspired by the book, with more toys on the way. These amazingly detailed figures will entice even the most obsessive collector to go against their instincts and take them out of their original packaging!
If you haven’t been introduced to the world of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, then now is the time to start, since it demonstrates another side of the vision of our favourite director. The Stainboy Shockwave cartoons are especially fun as they have all the usual Burton elements (a Danny Elfman theme, voice acting from Glenn Shadix and Lisa Marie, sick and twisted humour) but in a compact form!
Arran McDermott 2006