Lambert, Joseph – I Will Bite You



I Will Bite You

There was only one question in my mind when I started reading this book: would it live up to its title? Because that title is one of the best things that I’ve ever seen. As this is a book of short stories, it’s not really fair to judge the whole book by that unbeatable title, but I will say that that particular story more than matched up to it. The gist of it is that there are two suns in the sky, but the cartoon kinds of suns with facial features. They’re coyly in love, sneaking kisses with each other and being very pleased with each other when this happens. Meanwhile, there’s an angry kid on the ground, and he’s going around biting creatures. I’d say “people,” but most of the things he bites are odd beings of some kind or another. Anyway, the kid finally gets punished and he notices one of the two suns laughing at him, so naturally he jumps up to it and takes a bite out of it. What follows is equally hilarious and horrifying, and I’ve already said far too much about this so I’ll leave it up to you to discover. But wait, there’s a whole lot more! Next is “After School Snacks,” in which a posse of creatures terrify a couple of kids after they discover the deliciousness of pudding snacks. It’s a testament to Joseph’s skills that these creatures oozed across the page, and there was also some wildly inventive uses of word balloons as weapons. Other stories in here include “Mom Said” (in which a young boy tries to join in on the activities of his brother and friend, eventually resorting to drastic measures to get their attention), “Turtle Keep It Steady” (a slow build of a story involving a turtle playing drums, trying to compete with a much hipper drummer in another section of the room), “PSR” (a man just tries to eat his damned ice cream without getting it stolen out from under him every year, with one hell of an ending), “Too Far” (we watch a boy swallow his own father in anger and things spiral from there), an untitled piece (about cavemen, the natural order of things, using pterodactyl wings to fly and kissing the sun) and “Every Day” (kind of extended version of the theory behind the ending of “I Will Bite You,” as a boy picks a fight with the sun every day with hilariously predictable results… mostly). Now that these are all arrayed in order, there really isn’t a weak story in the bunch. Some are better than others, as is always the case for books of short stories, but you’d be hard pressed to find a stinker in here. Unless you have a pathological hatred for all stories involving suns with faces, in which case there’s a lot that you could find wrong with this book. This is a hell of a debut book, and yet another piece of evidence that The Center for Cartoon Studies knows exactly what’s it’s doing. And anyway, who wouldn’t want a book with this title sitting on their shelf? $14


Posted on January 22, 2013, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Lambert, Joseph – I Will Bite You.

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