Matthew Thurber’s 1-800-Mice
Look, I’m going to try and display some restraint here. If I’m not careful, I could easily scare you away with the ocean of magniloquent praise swelling inside me. So let me be delicate in my wording– calm, cool and collected to help you understand the unparalleled beauty of Matthew Thurber‘s 1-800-Mice.
It’s an epic mystery about the moment in our future-history when human-tree marriage is on the cusp of social acceptance. An intersex mouse named Peace Punk roams the world seeking the entrance to Valhala, evading a trio of angry assassins through an underworld of never-ending hardcore festivals and viral video production palaces. A tightly wound mouse detective goes undercover amongst a pack of nihlistic terrorists, confronting his own criminality in the process. And a cog in the machine at 1-800-Mice (the world’s fastest courier service) learns the grisly truth behind a mysterious drug made of dead trees.
If that sounds like a lot, it is! There’s a whole Universe behind this story, and it feels like something dreamed by Henry Darger and Alajandro Jodorowsky after a night of getting stoned, prank-calling Marilyn Manson, and watching Monty Python. But don’t worry about keeping up with all the details: readers of 1-800-Mice will learn to truly appreciate a sudden nosedive into the surreal. Each panel says a lot, even when the narrative speaks in tongues.
Thurber’s particular poetry is a web of jokey stand-up observations, noirish voice-over, drifting existential questions, imaginary buzzwords, playful puns and casual dick jokes. He constructs a foreign language with familiar associations and unexpectedly deep capacity for humanity (even in interspecies characters). You’ll be reading a goofy exchange between a death cultist dentist and his vampiric assistant, and suddenly you’ll tap into a quiet sense of melancholy embedded within the panel. It’s an interplay that grants Thurber’s gonzo fantasy a surprising scope of emotional depth. Plus, heads explode, reality collapses, and you have a new message on MindBook.
1-800-Mice is published by the awesome PictureBox press, and it looks beautiful. The hardcover feeels really special, and it has pretty colors on it. Plus, there’s an endorsement from Matt Groening on the cover! Check it out at one of Thurber’s upcoming readings!
San Francisco: September 30th at 7:00pm – Escapist Comics (with Leslie Stein)
San Francisco: October 1-2 – Alternative Press Expo
Los Angeles: October 4th at 7:00pm – Family
Brooklyn: October 7 at 7:00pm – Desert Island
Brooklyn: October 20th at 7:00pm – Triple Canopy (with C.F.)