“What the heck is this”, my brain deadpanned as I read through the first chapter of this freaky volume. It was, indeed, about a cat with a huge head, but unlike the images of adorable egghead cartoon kitties in my head, this was a rather gross weird little story. There is cat afterbirth, death, severe physical malformation, butt monsters, embarrassment, and more death. That’s cool, though; art is meant to be pretty, disgusting, offensive, pleasant. For some, the list of things that are acceptable for art to make you feel does not include “disgust”. I’m personally undecided about icky art. I am grateful it exists. Does not mean I seek it out; but I think it’s necessary. The eponymous chapter is about the short, strange, sad life of a cat born with a huge head. If you enjoy whimsy sprayed with little unsavory droplets, this first chapter is for you.
The art throughout the whole book is great; pretty colors and textures and the animals and humans all have haggard, pitiful little looks to their faces. There’s a lot of character in the artwork; mainly of a strange, whimsical and sad type. It suits all the stories perfectly.
The crowning glory is the last story, “The Monsters in my Tummy”. It is an allegory for the many phases of a bad heartbreak, starring, among other uncomfortable characters, “Sir Anger”, “Lil’ Contempt, “Betrayal” and “Alone on her stilted legs”. The poem watches as their time plays out, but there is no happy ending when these emotions had become practically sustenance.
I’m telling you, the last chapter had me Feeling Things. It was great. I forgive Mr. Dirge for the lung monsters that apparently live in his butt and love snacks (WTF?!) because of the last story. And I will celebrate the art once again: these little feeling-embodiment creatures have amazing and appropriately haunted looks and freakish, deformed bodies. The whole experience captured how ugly and naked some feelings are. UGH THAT LAST STORY. So good.