Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gahan Wilson's Even Weirder

Written by: Gahan Wilson

First line: "WHO'S THERE?!?"

Why you should read this book: On the first page of this collection of one-panel comics, a horrifying creature shudders with the very valid suspicion that a human child in striped pajamas is hiding under his bed, and this reversal of expectations perfectly summarizes Wilson's often-gruesome, always-inverted work. Death, monsters, psychosis, and aliens comprise the quotidian themes of his constantly surprising one-liners, accompanied by the familiar grostesquery of his thick-fingered, often-helpless humans, trapped in a world they can rarely control or understand. The darkness is palpable in this macabre collection, but Wilson's black humor forces a ray of light into even the most horrifying speculation.

Why you shouldn't read this book: When my 8-year-old stepdaughter saw it lying in the floor, she shuddered at the illustration on the front cover, flipped it over to remove it from her sight, screamed at the back cover, and then quickly hid it beneath a variety of less disturbing books, stacking them high in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to erase the images from her mind. Not for the faint of heart. Or people with nosy stepkids, apparently.

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