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Lio's Astonishing Tales: From the Haunted Crypt of Unknown Horrors Paperback – Bargain Price, August 18, 2009
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About the Author
New Jersey native Mark Tatulli is an internationally syndicated cartoonist, an accomplished filmmaker, and an animator. He has won three Emmy awards for his work in television, and received the Rueben Award from the National Cartoonists Society for Best Newspaper Comic Strip for Lio.
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This treasury contains the same Lio cartoons that were previously published in the collections "Happiness Is a Squishy Cephalopod" and "Silent But Deadly". It adds only a small amount of new material: a few quirky fake adverts on the back and inside covers and four pages of early experimental sketches of Lio. There are also occasional comments on the cartoons from the author: typical two or three lines per cartoon, on around 30% of the cartoons.
If you're new to Lio, this is a great place to begin!
Mark Tatuli understands alla that -- and more. His influence by the likes of Charles Adams and Gahan Wilson (check out the hunting related toons inside -- or the faces of the ocassional vampire), and his obvious homage to such greats, are part of what has made "Lio" one of the best comic strips in many a moon (right up there with the likes of "Pogo," "Bloom County" and "Calvin and Hobbes"). And the coolness of a comic strip sans dialouge (except the ocassional note/letter, sign or cry of shock, is still a novelty on the "funny pages" these days. Tatuli mixes 4/5ths weirdness with 1/5th sweetness (a note from Calvin's dad encouraging him to be a cartoonist -- or Calvin's undying, and very hopeful crush on the almost-rabid Eva Rose, check out the full-color Sunday strip on page 177 -- yeah, as Tatuli notes, it _is_ a bit weird -- but for us romantics, only a bit). Not too worry, lovers of weird/dark comedy: there are plenty of zombie gags (Tatuli loves 'em), strange visitors from other planets, cameos by the likes of Dracula, Frankentstein, the Wolfman and the Creature From the Black Lagoon -- and even cameos by the likes of Charlie Brown, Garfield, Dagwood and Blondie, Pinnochio, you name it (Tatuli loves to "visit" other comic strips -- and visit his weirdness upon their characters). There are even a couple of message strips, done in a completely weird way, of course. Lio's adventures are set in a weird -- but always good-natured -- parallel world, where a the surprise in a box of gorilla flakes pulls you right into the box, zoos are filled with black bears and "gummi" bears, pets consist of spiders, snakes and a squid named Ishmael, a science project can result in a giant robot which destroys downtown buildings or an army of pink, robotic bunnies, to days spent dreaming up inventive ways to enact revenge on the school bullies who persist in picking on him and hanging out with vampires, ghosts, dragons, gorillas and, ocassionally death (one funny sight gag features Lio eating a box of "Life" cereal, munching and reading the back of the box, while (you guessed it) the Grim Reaper sits across from him at the breakfast table: eating a bowl of cereal and reading the back of his cereal box, appropriately labeled, "Death."
Good, gruesome fun for all -- who are so inclined.
There's Corpses Everywhere: Yet Another Lio Collection is also another collection. It only has 128 pages.
If you buy collections, you will see the same strips again in treasuries.
That said, this is an excellent treasury. You don't get a lot of extra "behind-the-scenes" stuff. But Mark Tatulli still puts comments under some of the strips. He said he loves to draw, and it shows in his work.
I was stunned to see how much detail and how many colors he decided to use in his strip. At times, it seemed like an embarrassment of riches. This strip is art in more ways than one. It is also sweet and will appeal to those with a darker side. Lio reminds me of the music video for Émilie Simon's "Flowers"--gothic, but also adorable.
I respect the fact that many strips don't use words. Actions alone leave a stronger impression.
I only hope Lio never loses its originality.
I love LIO. If you do too, this doesn't disappoint. Most of the book just pulls all of the comics together in one place, but there are also interesting little anecdotes by the author/artist - where the comic came from, changes his editor wanted, and notes about feedback he got from when the comic ran.
Most recent customer reviews
I recommend ages 10 and up