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Lio: Happiness Is a Squishy Cephalopod Paperback – August 1, 2007
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Its a little hard to explain what Lio is about. The title character is a small boy who is absolutely brilliant and utterly twisted -- you can easily imagine him growing up to be a mad scientist. His pets are the oft-seen giant squid and spider, and the less-seen dragon and extraordinarily arrogant cat (possibly the only character in the strip the Lio actually obeys.)
The imagination level of the strip is on a par with Calvin and Hobbes, and I honestly think Mark Tatulli, the strip's creator, may be the long-awaited heir to Bill Watterson's throne. Now, this isn't as "innocent" as C&H was -- there's no sweetness or sentimentality here. But its gone the same "I wish my childhood was like that" feel.
Its also important to note that its done with (practically) no dialogue. The lead characters (basically, Lio and his dad) never speak, and any other dialogue is only used when absolutely necessary. That alone speaks volumes to Tatulli's skill as a cartoonist.
And for fans of comic strip in general, the strip is a treat, because Lio occasionally gets "involved" with characters from other strips. This collection includes "visits" to Peanuts, Cathy, and Mary Worth (of all things) to name three off the top of my head. (Though unfortunately, the screamingly funny For Better or For Worse strip will presumably appear in the next collection.)
I can't recommend Lio highly enough. If your taste in comic strip runs towards The Family Circus and For Better or For Worse, its not for you. But if you like twisted comics, Lio is a must read. And you'll be able to brag you were a Lio fan before everyone else was.
Lio's Dad is semi clueless, often seen with a beer in his hand smoking and dressed in his underwear, wondering who let the zombie in the living room to watch TV? Better dailys involve some comic strip history, invoking regret and joy from strips gone by.
A little creepy crawly, things some parents will hate and their kids will love it.
Definitely a keeper.
That said, there is still endless variation and cleverness here, and I fully recommend this as a satisfying, off-kilter, imaginative, fun, collection of strips of a quality so frequently lacking nowadays in comic strips. More Lio collections, please!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny, charming, witty, disgusting. In other words, perfect for a fan of old school horror movies and monsters.Published 7 months ago by John W
This cartridge does not print as darkly as my old, original cartridge, but for the price I am happy with it.Published on April 18, 2014 by GOOT
These books are wonderful compilations of Lio's work. A great comic strip for boys with active imaginations. Our 10 year old loves them; we have 3 of these compilations so far. Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by CaringConsumer
New book, came in time for our teenager son's birthday. He loved it! Probably because he loves cephalopods. Would not recommend for younger children, some comics are upsetting. Read morePublished on October 15, 2011 by Texas mom
Nothing new, if you buy "Lio's Astonishing Tales" you will get everything "Happiness" has and more.Published on September 23, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I love this book. It is my second on the series and I'm looking forward to have them all.Published on September 8, 2010 by Arturo Torres
If Calvin had had a little brother Lio would be him! This is funny and dark and funny and edgy and funny. Read morePublished on September 6, 2010 by Larry Guger
Pure Genius!! Imagine Dennis the Menace channeling H.P Lovecraft and you have Lio. To me, one of the marks of a great cartoonist is the abilty to craft truely funny, universally... Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by March Lee Warn