Little Short One, Pt. 1: Graeme rushes in, tells you to buy Gloom.

I was explaining PERCY GLOOM to someone the other day, and the best I could come up with was that it was a philosophical story done by David Lynch and Walt Disney (but without the Nazi thing) in a beautiful, somewhat retro pencil style but with a depressed, disassociative voice similar to Chris Ware's stuff.

The person I was talking to looked as if I was insane, and then walked away wondering what I was on about. The last comic that they'd read was Mike Zeck's Punisher in the '80s, and I think they probably regretted asking what I was reading these days.

Nonetheless, Percy Gloom is a wonderful book, a fairy tale for grown-ups who've lost their faith in humanity and want to get it back. It's calm and gentle in the best way, without sacrificing narrative thrust - What little there is, admittedly, but it's there - but present in such a manner as to making it impossible not to fall for the main character or the book. The entire thing has a dreamlike quality, both in terms of the illogical logic and the old-fashioned, formally daring artwork, and the book itself works best on that level for me; I don't want to analyze it that far for fear of destroying my enjoyment of it, but suffice to say that it is an Excellent book and a leader in the recent spate of worthwhile graphic novels released (See also The Homeless Channel, also out this week, PLAIN Janes, out last week and the upcoming and still to be released The Black Diamond Detective Agency); those looking to spend pennies should have a problem deciding what to spend them on right now...