Pictopia #3

Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Published: Fall 1992
Format: B&W with 8 color pages, 74 pages, 21x27 cm, squarebound
ISBN: 1-56097-094-4

Out of print

Other artists featured includes David Collier, James Sturm, and Tardi & Manchette

Quimby the Mouse

A story of unhappy love (for everybody). Sparky (who's a head without a body) loves Quimby, Quimby is infatuated with someone who lacks legs, and she just wants to be left alone. A sub-plot involves the abusive relationship of the people living next door.

More than usually, Quimby comes off in this strip as a character without any redeeming features. He's a narcissistic, uncaring, self-centered prude who gets what he deserves in the end. Because of that, it's difficult to get involved in the story. While in later works Quimby has all of these characteristics, he also seems more understandable, which gives the stories an interesting tension. Here we're just invited to snicker at his boorishness.

The strip is also unusually chatty for a Quimby story. Almost everything is explained in captions as well as shown -- in stark contrast to what is usually the norm for Quimby strips.

The strip is printed in color on thick, glossy paper. The color looks like it's been done with wash or watercolor, and seems rather sickly in places. I wonder if it's supposed to look this way, or whether it's a printing problem.

The wrap-around cover is gorgeous, though.

Reworked portions of this story (or perhaps it's the other way around) appeared in The ACME Novelty Library No. 4.

The Acme Novelty Warehouse.