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Matthew Thurber: 1-800-MICE (Picturebox…

Matthew Thurber: 1-800-MICE (Picturebox Books)

by Matthew Thurber

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I was inspired to read this when I saw that it was given a good review blurb on the front cover by Matt Groening and it's easy to see why he liked it...it's somewhat zainy and also a little deranged. In other comic book world splendor, it recalls the work of both Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes and it possesses a pretty interesting story line and characters. Set in Los Angeles, the story line involves humans, mutants, trees, and a being that is part human and part tree. There are shoguns and mystical creatures and some sort of tie in with Scotland and the banjo. There are ducks that drink Brandy and messenger mice who love coffee in this book. There are characters on the run and characters getting hooked on a drug that seems to make you want to annihilate yourself and others as you literally turn wooden. There's aspects of cyber detachment, fear of apocalypse, and transgenderism here all mixed in with a hint of punk rock. There is violence, a chase, banishment, and an act of politically motivated destruction. In some aspects, the story is still a demented sort of puzzle but it's one that is also a little bit fascinating. I wasn't the most keen on the ending but the adventure to get the reader there was still worthwhile.

There aren't any numbered pages but here were some quotes I liked:

"Well Mr. Groomfiend, you seem to be in perfectly good health. Why you came to me with a dental problem I don't quite understand. I'm a pediatrician."

"The media is just the black & white dream of a mouse in a shrivelled bikini."

"I remember when we met...it was in my O.N.O class, OVERCOMING NEUROTIC OBSESSION. Little kids taken out of school for rehabilitation. A certain number of people had a violent psychological reaction to the recent jumps in evolution."

"But I am not used to inspecting myself unless it is an occasional glimpse in a rushing stream or in the windows of a passing bus."

"You only live twice or so it seems-one life for yourself and one for your dreams" -Nancy Sinatra

"Death is a fugue with only one note. It starts when it ends because that's all she wrote."

"I am a parabola! I am a satellite! I am a search engine!" ( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0984589260, Hardcover)

1-800-MICE is Matthew Thurber's comic book anthropological study of the imaginary city of Volcano Park: a cross between Thomas Pynchon, Robert Altman and J.R.R. Tolkien. Over the course of the story we meet Peace Punk, a punker on the verge of a bourgeois lifestyle; Tom Chief, a beat cop with an identity crisis; and Groomfiend, a daffy creature who leads the narrative. The serial has earned Thurber rave reviews from, among others, cartoonist Ben Katchor, who writes: "Matthew Thurber has singlehandedly revived the Surrealist program of revolutionary politics through dreamwork. What more can you ask for in a comic-book?" This edition collects five issues of 1-800-MICE, plus 48 pages of new material.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:33 -0400)

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