I received this book as a birthday gift from one of my best friends. In the birthday card he wrote, "In keeping with our morbid sense of humour." True enough. This book is my comfort food. Angus Oblong's absurd and creepy characters have let me laugh my way out of a bad day on many occasions.
Creepy Susie And 13 Other Tragic Tales For Troubled Children is a cartoon story collection for all the adults out there who are really twisted little kids at heart. It's also an uncompromisingly un-PC book, which is what makes it so fun.
Creepy Susie is dirty, witty, silly, scary and sickly all rolled up together, with a little mischievous innocence thrown in for good measure. It's deliciously bleak -- the content ranges from decapitations and cannibalism to subtle, lewd sexuality. Smiling little boys and girls bat their eyelashes with their hands behind their backs, holding scissors, chainsaws or other weapons of choice.
Oblong's collection presents pitblack humour while subtly underlining the politics of being normal. Almost all his characters are odd, alien, weird and, well, downright creepy. But he celebrates their quirks and absurdities, and the tragedy, as he presents it, occurs when they're forced to erase their differences in order to fit into the status quo.
It's possible that some people will find Creepy Susie and her band of vigilantes offensive or worse. But not me. I'm from the school that believes things like midget albino cross-dressers and oven-baked cats are essential parts of every kid's thriving imagination.
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