by Lee Thomas
Even the idea itself is intriguing: pair twelve international illustrators and short fiction writers, press go, see what happens. The slim, wonderfully designed collection We Are the Friction sets the stage for unexpected relationships. Following their 2008 collaboration, I Am the Friction, the masterminds behind the concept are designer Jez Burrows and illustrator Lizzy Stewart, who together form Sing Statistics. Both Burrows and Stewart are based in Edinburgh, but the two-dozen writers and illustrators in this anthology reside across the globe – from Toronto to Kansas City to Barcelona. The cover promises a veritable garden of earthly delights: “5 Giant Animals, 63 Expletives, 6 Instances of the Ocean,” and “1 Sentient Muffin” among them. Let’s begin with that muffin.