Ogner Stump's One Thousand Sorrows

Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2003
By: Darren Schroeder

Creator(s): Andrew Goldfarb
Publishers: Wonderella Printed (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $9 (US)

The hero of this book suffers from many a malaise, 25 of which are presented in the first half of this collection. Uninvited sales people invade his house, eat his possessions and let loose a hoard of deformed creatures into his home. Then things get really weird. At his new job he meets Slub Glub, an icky looking creature who fears the language of middle management and all the horrible tasks associated with work in an office cubical. From there the two of them encounter all kinds of surreal and fantastical situations. In the second half of the book we get a collection of more surreal tales with a range of strange characters, including a great rhyme about a fellow called Mumbletoes written by J. Andrijeski. Think the Cat in the Hat on peyote juice.

Apart from its flagrant disregard for the conventions that rule mundane storytelling there is little fault to be found with this well executed anthology. At 150 pages, you get a lot of comic (488 illustrations according to Andrew's website) including 5 interior colour plates. The presentation is high quality, with gloss paper inside a perfect bound paperback with colour cover, which has to be a good deal for $9.

The writing and artwork are inventive. Andrew seems to think laterally all the time. There are visual puns all through out the book that have to keep up with the whimsical wordplay. Nothing is stable in the world that unfolds in these stories, as islands transform into giants and strange creatures emerge out of the scenery. Andrew has the visual inventiveness of a Terry Gilliam, with artwork that is energetic but always immaculately inked. The random stories in the second half of the book display a subtle range of art styles, with one schlock horror tale having that 50's retro look of books like Silent Invasion.

While I can't really explain what's going on here, I can certainly recommend it as a fascinating and humorous read.

In a Word: Hallucinatory.

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