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Sally, Zak – Sammy the Mouse Book 1


Sammy the Mouse Book 1

There is one benefit to my sticking to mostly self-published mini comics and things of that nature instead of also reviewing a whole bunch of Fantagraphics/Drawn and Quarterly stuff: I get to read the series when they come out in collected editions, removing the ambivalence that can come with reading one issue of an epic series. In this case Zak put out the first three issues with Fantagraphics, then hand-made each copy of this collected edition on a machine that contains all sorts of numbers that I won’t even pretend to understand. So if you like the personal touch in your books, it’s hard to get more personal than that. As for the book itself, it feels like cheating when two of the quotes on the back cover call this a revelation, but, well, this book is a revelation. The closest thing I can compare it to is being in one of those old timey scuba suits, the kind which were designed for walking along the ocean floor, while examining the effects from an oil spill. The sea creatures that you expected were there, but damaged and corrupted, and there were also several creatures that you were expecting, that seemed to be perfectly normal until you get right up next to them and see the sores. Utterly hopeless with a sense of inevitable fatalism and just a dash of a higher purpose that might fix a thing or two, maybe that’s what I’m getting at. Anyway, things start off with Sammy sitting around his house. He just wants to be left alone, but a strange voice above him tells him that he has to answer his door, as this is “the start of something.” Sammy resists, but finally answers the door to see a duck who’s too drunk (and broke) to buy booze. From there Sammy runs into another friend who’s in a coma and a creepy-as-hell skeleton kid who delights into scaring the shit out of people for what appears to be no good reason. From there we get a few drunk characters (and another one of them seems to be in the direct control of that voice from on high, although we never learn if it is the same voice or a different voice), a bar that’s made out of a hollowed out baby (although the baby doesn’t seem to mind, unless it was just frozen in that pose; either way it’s horrible to think about for too long), a moustache that seems to be the key to something, some poison that is imminently going to start spewing out, and a nail in the forehead. And a sasquatch-like creature. And a butterfly. Once again I’m stuck not giving too much away, as this needs to be seen by all folks who like these funny pictures on paper. You may want to have a large glass of booze on hand, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking too much before reading it. Wouldn’t want too much of this stuff to get into a drunken, vulnerable mind… $18