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The Furry Trap Hardcover – July 2, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

As with some of the best horror, The Furry Trap curb­-stomps all expectations.... There’s some sick s*** happening in this hardcover and if you’re brave enough, you’ll crack The Furry Trap open and enjoy the stories free of restraint and convention, yet teeming with unbridled creativity and absolute insanity. (Mark L. Miller - Ain't It Cool News)

About the Author

Josh Simmons hails from Storrs Mansfield, CT, and lives in Seattle, WA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (July 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995365
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,463,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I starting flipping through this book at a Barnes and Noble, and was pleasantly surprised to see that a mainstream "family-friendly(?)" store was willing to carry this kind of product. I write "this kind of product" because I find the Trap difficult to describe. Unavoidably, this book is grim and grotesque. Teeth and knives are engaged, bodies are opened up, stuff comes out, parts come off, nary is there a page without something awful happening, and there is no attempt to pretty it up. To some degree, Furry Trap is a catalogue of the depths of human depravity. And yet, something else is going on here -- The Furry Trap is somehow funny, lyrical, personal, vulnerable, revelatory, and touching. There is a strange beauty in that the characters get no sympathy from the author and their individual destructions are inevitable. Intentional or otherwise, Trap becomes a meditation on Deus Ex Machina and the nature of dramatic conflict. It made me think about why we are entertained at a character's torment. If books, TV shows and movies seem a little too Disney-fied to you, maybe you, too, will like this grotesque and provocative little collection.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of short stories by Josh Simmons, the artist behind the brilliant silent-horror book "House" a few years ago. The various stories show Simmons' range as an artist while the stories' quality is at times manically brilliant to half-thought out and fizzle out into nothing.

The best of these is "Demonwood", the final story, featuring a construction worker down on his luck who after working on a site all day, stubbornly refuses to admit his car is broken and ends up staying on the site after dark despite being told the woods are haunted. Sure enough a cherub-like demon shows up and the story subtly and horrifically gets darker and darker...

I also liked his take on Batman even if I wasn't 100% sure what he was trying to say about him. I felt this way about a lot of the stories here: the Jesus monster story, the hick/witch story set in an apocalyptic landscape, and the girl who mutilates her pet. The stories start strong, they're intriguing, but they end in the kind of pretentious arty way that believes non-explanation is better than explicit resolution, so in the end they're quite frustrating.

And the worst of these stories feature extreme sexual violence throughout that are the sole purpose of the story. It feels like reading a story by a kid who's looking only to shock - they're simply immature and empty.

But on the whole the book is an interesting read with imaginative stories and a few gems that make reading this worthwhile. Simmons has talent and is a compelling storyteller when he is focused; "The Furry Trap" hints at better books to come and I will definitely read them when they appear. For now, this book shows the interesting evolution of an artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a comic that really recaptures the spirit of the old Undergrounds from back in the hippie days. It's very much a no-holds-barred, anything-goes effort.

Most of the stories are in color. "Cockbone" and "The Mark of the Bat" are B&W.

The art is really excellent, very well-done. It's a cut above standard comic book art. Simmons is really good at capturing a mood and portraying human emotion.

Unfortunately, the unremittingly hateful and nasty content makes this a cold and unpleasant read. I felt that Simmons was trying to be witty and shocking but it fell flat. The general tone seemed to be one of accusation and condemnation, against the reader, against the modern world. He seems to be saying that all humans are fundamentally disgusting and malignant and we should just stop kidding ourselves.

I bought this book on the strength of the, "Cockbone", story which I originally read in Robin Bougie's, "Sleazy Slice", anthology comic. I was totally bowled over by it. It has to be one of the best comic stories I have ever read. The story flows as part real, part fairy tale, part dream. It's long but it never drags. The mother-son aspect of it is particularly affecting.

The, "Night of the Jibblers”, story reaches for poignancy but doesn’t quite make it. And it seems to be saying that old men just surrender to their dissolution, which is accurate enough. This is the only story that had any kind of a heart.

The, "Demonwood", story is a particularly nasty one. It seems to be an assault on the sentimentalizing of humble, hard-working Joes. Either that or Simmons is some kind of closet socialist. Heavens!

The, "Mark of the Bat", succeeds in being witty.
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Format: Hardcover
What I like about Josh's new comic is that it's full-blown Josh. Knowing Josh, his last two comics seemed very mellow. Nothing wrong with mellow. But Josh's head lights up like a perverted jack o' lantern. And that's what I like about The Furry Trap. People say it's just shock but I don't see that at all. The fantasy wizard rape is so colorful and over-the top, you can't help laugh. Like a good Monty Python skit. I love Mutant. Everything about that's perfect.

One thing people have complained about is that some of the stories start out but don't go anywhere. But I think Josh really pulled from the Dream Scene. Even I wished some of these things went a little further. But like many good dreams, when things start cooking, the dream shifts. Jesus Christ is great. Completely contained in Sagittarius judgement revelation.

Also, I had seen the Batman comic years ago but it took on a whole new meaning when inserted in this comic compilation. Even more disturbing, which fit in nicely after the Midnight Colorado mass shooting, is that Batman really is the dark night of the soul. That mouth-punch thing should really be in a movie. And of course, Josh is great at those little, tedious fine lines.

Cock Bone gives me the creeps. The whole "suck" really won me over. The Furry Trap shit crotch and song...wonderful. And then of course, Demon Wood, which is amazing, funny and you want it to go on longer. It can be a whole comic onto itself. You really feel like you're beginning to watch a horror movie from the late 70's/early 80's. I think Furry Trap is a wonderful comic. One thing I like about Josh is the fact that he has quite a few illustration techniques up his sleeve. So at times you feel like you're reading multiple artists. Josh Simmons is a real life Dancing Queen.
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