ALICE IS LARGE, ALICE IS SMALL: WEIRD THINGS
Two very cool book-things arrived in the mailbox-thing yesterday--Child Assassin by Alan DeNiro and The Frank Book by Jim Woodring.
Child Assassin by DeNiro is a Small Alice thing--part of a series called One Story; literally, a small-sized chapbook containing one story, with a simple yet beautiful design. One Story puts out 18 of these chapbooks a year. DeNiro's story is an unclassifiable surreal thing with lines like "No one knew what to call him, which suited him perfectly well, because he liked to kill babies, and it was better not to have a name attached to such acts." and "The sale of security products to orphanages spiked dramatically whenever he drifted through a town. He knew this, and himself dreamed about being caught and eaten by high-level bureaucrats." I like the story a lot--despite a hiccup of banality in the middle involving turn-about on the assassin, because it ends in the same strange place it begins. You can subscribe to One Story via the Internet--I know I'm planning to.
The Frank Book by Jim Woodring is a Large Alice thing--it collects all of Woodring's Frank cartoons in an oversized omnibus hardcover of almost 400 pages, with several series of full-color plates. At first, I thought the most surreal thing about Frank might be the introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, possibly the last person I'd think of to do the honors. Frank has no captions and no dialogue, forcing you to concentrate on the truly surreal, insane panels and storylines. Frank is a cat-thing who wanders through a constantly metamorphosizing landscape that includes twirling fleshy flying things (you can pull open their marsupial pouches and take a ride), a manhog thing whose adventures are pitiable and disturbing, a faithful sidekick thing with a Chershire Cat tail who otherwise looks a little like a flesh-toaster, and a spindly Devil-creature thing named Whim who operates to the tune of his own perverse logic. I've never read anything like this, and recommend it highly. Thanks to Eric Schaller for recommending it to me.
Now, I just need to find an Alice Medium-Sized thing (which might just be the new Caustic Resin CD).
Music Check--Listening to: