Monday, April 19, 2010

The Adventures of Sock Monkey by Tony Millionaire

Tony Millionaire is one of my favorite comics artists. Perhaps best known for the darkly comic and violent Maakies, about a drunken monkey named Uncle Gabby and an even drunker crow, aptly named Drinky Crow, he also has drawn several comics for children, adapting his Maakies characters into lovable stuffed creatures. There is no violence or suicide or venereal disease (unlike in Maakies). But there is still something a bit subtly unsettling about The Adventures of Sock Monkey, and I think I might like them even more for that.

Millionaire drew much of his income in his early years from drawing people's houses, which shows in his work. There are always these incredibly detailed opening shots of beautiful Victorian homes.

He also has a propensity for drawing ships. Quite appropriately, he recently illustrated the cover of Moby Dick for the Penguin Graphic Classics series, and even though I'm not that interested in that book I am thinking about getting this poster.

Though his name in this book is Mr. Crow (not Drinky Crow), he does indeed love a good flask of whiskey. Again--not sure if these are really for children or not. But if there ever was a more poetic journey into drunkenness, I haven't seen it.

That might be one of the best aspects of the writing--a couple of toys with an old-fashioned and lyrical vocabulary. "A thousand pardons, sahib."

This page is a nice example of some of the situations Uncle Gabby and Mr. Crow tend to get themselves into--they mean well, but sometimes don't have a complete understanding of their surroundings. And I love that the little figures know the Latin for "Rodent-eating bat." And that the mouse is named Smalls.

This is really one of my favorite comics series!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous and creepy illustrations! Thanks for sharing.