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The Wild Kingdom Hardcover – August 31, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This brilliantly conceived pocket book casually expresses a crystalline analysis of our own imprecise and muddled thinking. Formatted like a textbook from an alternate world where comics are the standard mode of discourse, it references general interest pop-science television programs like the titular "Wild Kingdom," complete with commercial breaks which punctuate the book's more overtly narrative passages. Sequences featuring Huizenga's everyman character Glenn Ganges depict the minor catastrophes that inevitably result from industrialized humanity's coexistence with the animal world, from an unwelcome insect at home to an ill-fated pigeon on a four-lane highway. The book's "commercial" sequences echo with the quasi-religious recurring phrase "I was saved from my own life," a slogan that points to the paradox at the heart of "man versus nature"—a perceived alienation from the natural world from which man springs; this schism is effectively leveraged to sell products promising transcendence from man's earthly origins. Huizenga's lyrical storytelling highlights the ways in which science, education, entertainment, and commerce have been hopelessly comingled, and the book's absurdist climax suggests that this state of affairs can't continue forever. Huizenga continues to forge a path as one of the most important graphic novelists working today. (Sept.)
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Review

“One of the most promising of a new generation of cartoonists, Huizenga's stories use a combination of the quotidian and the surreal to explore themes of science, nature, religion and family.” ―Time on Kevin Huizenga

“With art that ranges from clear-eyed cartooning to swirly expressionism, Huizenga takes his characters through poetic explorations of the profound.” ―The Washington Post on Kevin Huizenga

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460003
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,020,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Wild Kingdom" is a reprint of a series of strips Kevin Huizenga compiled in 2000 and reprinted again in 2006. This time they're given the deluxe edition as they're collected in hardback, though the book is almost pocket sized.

Inside the strips revolve around the theme of the natural world and humanity's correlation to it. About half of the book features no words as we see Glen Ganges go about his daily life but seeing animals do the same. He encounters squirrels, birds, his cat and whatnot forage for food, wander about, follow things.

It's difficult to make sense of the second half. Advertising is criticised, Huizenga talks about Nobel Prize winning author Maurice Maeterlinck who won the 1911 Literature prize and wrote about the natural world. There are several pages of made up birds and then a silent strip involving a dead bird and the destruction of a small town.

Like his previous book "Curses", Huizenga mixes some pleasant strips with abstract works and experiments with text and layout. Also like "Curses" it's difficult to see what the purpose is. It's an interesting read and has some moments in the short book that hold your attention but ultimately it's somewhat pretentious approach is a bit exhausting and the book suffers because of it. Not a bad comic book but not one I would say is essential reading.
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Format: Hardcover
The Wild Kingdom examines our modern day food chain that pits beast against man's inventions and civilization. Animals are observed in their suburban habitat where cars are predators and nature seems a little less wild than before.

Huizenga's book reads like a cable TV wildlife show, with commercials and rabid marketing interspersed throughout the story. The layout is irregular, but it's what makes his take on the current state of nature into a kind of dark satire on our modern society.

This is definitely one of those books where it is hard to understand every detail after the first read, but it isn't too dense so as you wouldn't want to pick it up and re-examine bits of it again. The hardcover edition is a beautiful book, almost a pocketbook, that really fits well in your hands.
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Format: Hardcover
Kevin Huizenga is one of the smartest, most talented cartoonists working today. Don't just buy this book, buy ALL his books.
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