Title: Colorful Monsters
Genre: Fantasy/Humor/Overweening Cuteness
Anything I Need to Know Going In? This. This right here. This is the stuff. Four lengthy excerpts from Drawn & Quarterly's cute monster books: The venerable Moomin, by Finland's Tove Jansson, offers a wonderfully elliptical tale of a not-particularly-smart hippo and one of his shadier friends. The excerpt from If Found ... Please Return to Elise Gravel features what are presented as pages from the Canadian cartoonist's notebook; it's a bright, colorful and quirky paean to drawing, imagination, and creativity. French cartoonist Anouk Ricard's Anna & Froga looks like a lot of other powerfully cute, funny-animal-friends comics, but it carries a slyly acerbic tinge that keeps things grounded and funny. Finally, an excerpt from Shigeru Mizuki's Kitaro has one of that manga's more unsavory characters attempting to peform a good deed. Doesn't go well.
Anything Else? This is the thickest of this year's FCBD books, and thus the best "value" for your ... um ... not-money? And none of it is filler — just quality cartooning, from international writer/artists, that provides an excellent primer to their work.
Verdict? If you get no other FCBD book, get this one. If the store runs out of copies, rip one out of some little kid's hands, if you have to. (Don't do that.) (I'm just saying though: Them little tykes got lousy upper body strength.) (Kidding ha ha ha.) (... Also their little hands'll probably be slick with like snot or ice cream or what have you, so.)