Wake Up, Percy Gloom

(text & illus.). Fantagraphics. Jun. 2013. 200p. ISBN 9781606996386. $28.99. LITERARY FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarIn her second Percy Gloom book, Eisner Award-winning animation director and cartoonist Malkasian (Rugrats; The Wild Thornberrys) follows her lovable, lazy-eyed hero on a quest through an unpredictable land peopled with opera-singing goats, electric apple trees, and zealous joke-book devotees. The immortal Percy has just awoken from what he believes to be a 200-year nap. Sorrowfully realizing that his true love, Miss Margaret, likely died of old age more than a century ago, he sets off to find his mother and start life anew. Along the way he picks up a patriotic customs officer who has never seen the land whose borders he faithfully protects, and together the two find their way to the mythical holy land of Voatzle, where all things are possible for those with a good sense of humor and a taste for apple pie.
VERDICT Malkasian's gentle pencil drawings, reminiscent of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman and Gentleman Jim, are simultaneously magical and reflective of aspects of humanity. Allegorical, surreal, and thoughtful, this book is recommended for readers who prefer comics with philosophy as a side.
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