From Publishers Weekly
Huizenga has created some of the most remarkable comics of recent years, and this volume collects stories published in anthologies and random comic books. Huizenga's work, drawn in a deceptively simple and quietly expressive cartoon line, is marked by a focus on philosophical quandaries. Nearly all of his stories take place in an anonymous suburbia, and his everyman protagonist, Glenn Ganges, is a likable character possessed of a Charlie Brown–like calm. The strongest story in this book, "28th Street," is a fanciful meditation on fertility in which Ganges turns to supernatural solutions for his all too corporeal problems. Another excellent story, "Jeepers Jacobs," explores the nature of heaven and hell through the fictionalized work of a theologian protagonist. Another story, "Green Tea," is an adaptation of a 19th-century thriller. It's quite a range, and Ganges's thoughtful wonderment at all of his experiences opens up the world to the reader. Huizenga is an inclusive, empathic artist who communicates without lectures—rather, he simply shows the world as it might be and allows us, through Ganges, to experience it with him. His excellent ear for dialogue and measured prose style accomplish this without flash. These are wonderfully considered, profound comics. (Oct.)
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Glenn Ganges' sober countenance has peered out from Huizenga's philosophical comics tales since his introduction to the graphics universe in the early 1990s. In Huizenga's largest collection featuring the blank-faced protagonist, Ganges is a quizzical mouthpiece for the artist's observations on the startling and surrealistic nature of the modern world. In "Green Tea," Ganges recounts an episode from university days, when a tea-fueled research project on hallucinations triggered his own visionary experience and had him digging through a nineteenth-century psychiatrist's papers for explanations. "The Curse" follows Ganges' mission to steal the plumage of a "feathered ogre" and remove a curse that is keeping him and his wife childless. Other tales disclose hidden connections between missing children and Sudanese lost boys and unearth surprising details about starlings. Huizenga's masterful, multitextured drawing style proves equally suited to depicting rainstorms sweeping through mini-marts and landscapes in the style of classical Japanese paintings. Unlike many graphic artists whose self-written texts suffer in comparison with their higher quality drawings, Huizenga's scripts are consistently crisp, witty, and engaging. Carl HaysCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved