By Mark Tatulli

Lio is almost an anti-comic strip, told without word balloons or captions (just the odd sound effect does nicely), so careful observation and an active imagination is essential when reading this book. With eyes like Little Orphan Annie and hair reminiscent of Ed Grimly, Lio is a kid who can out-Calvin Calvin and Hobbes, and none of the other popular comic strip characters are safe in his world either. Charlie Brown’s kite eating tree develops a larger appetite, Gumby wanders by to his detriment, Garfield’s lasagna-lust ends badly and a Dagwood sandwich develops a whole new meaning. Lio is an enigma – he may arm bears to help even the odds for woodland animals in one strip, but buy a puppy as a birthday gift – for his pet snake – in another. He treats squirrels and little demons with equal affection. He thrills at beating the Grim Reaper in board games (Life, of course), but shushes the Wild Things in his closet when they get too giggly. Part mad-scientist who keeps dragons, monsters and carnivorous plants as pets, Lio is also like normal kids – he wants to avoid chores, is bored in school and thinks he’s smarter than his somewhat hapless dad (in this case, he just might be). Consider it darkly gothic, subversively humorous or just plain weird, creator Mark Tatulli is the natural heir to Edward Gorey or Charles Addams brand of pictorial story-telling, making this a great entertainment for the discerning imagination. Click here to find Lio: Happiness is a Squishy Cephalapod in our on-line catalogue.

2 comments:

Brother David Steindl-Rast :

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more.

May 13, 2009 at 6:24 AM  

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.Yours is a nice blog.

June 10, 2009 at 6:51 AM  

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