Publishers Weekly reviews WILD KINGDOM

Comics Reviews: 12/13/10

Publishers Weekly    |    Publishers Weekly    |    December 16, 2010

This brilliantly conceived pocket book casually expresses a crystalline analysis of our own imprecise and muddled thinking. Formatted like a textbook from an alternate world where comics are the standard mode of discourse, it references general interest pop-science television programs like the titular "Wild Kingdom," complete with commercial breaks which punctuate the book's more overtly narrative passages. Sequences featuring Huizenga's everyman character Glenn Ganges depict the minor catastrophes that inevitably result from industrialized humanity's coexistence with the animal world, from an unwelcome insect at home to an ill-fated pigeon on a four-lane highway. The book's "commercial" sequences echo with the quasi-religious recurring phrase "I was saved from my own life," a slogan that points to the paradox at the heart of "man versus nature"--a perceived alienation from the natural world from which man springs; this schism is effectively leveraged to sell products promising transcendence from man's earthly origins. Huizenga's lyrical storytelling highlights the ways in which science, education, entertainment, and commerce have been hopelessly comingled, and the book's absurdist climax suggests that this state of affairs can't continue forever. Huizenga continues to forge a path as one of the most important graphic novelists working today. (Sept.)

You might also like


Select Your Location: