THE HOUSE AT MAAKIES CORNER

Tony Millionaire, Author, Chip Kidd, Designed by . Fantagraphics $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-56097-508-3

Millionaire is a great master of the old-time freewheeling comic strip, and this work takes full advantage of every last bit of the medium. It combines the comical seafaring tales of Drinky Crow (yes, a drunk crow) and Uncle Gabby (a monkey of questionable morals) with nonsense strips and the occasional foray into something utterly unconnected. In these strips, Gabby goes to the art museum with predictably disastrous results; Drinky plays with guns; and there's a tremendous amount of drinking and violence, not to mention suicide gags, all with little visible effect on these "heroes." Each of the strips has a smaller, secondary strip running below it, and both are drawn in an excruciatingly detailed pen and ink style reminiscent of late–19th-century illustration and E.C. Segar's classic Popeye comic strip of the 1930s. Millionaire's carefully rendered art never interferes with his loony punch lines. His work also benefits from a rare occurrence in comics publishing: the right package, in this case a book produced by the acclaimed graphic designer Chip Kidd, who chose an elongated format (12"×4") based on 1910 Mutt & Jeff collections. Millionaire offers transporting, irreverent and unique comics, all beautifully drawn. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/10/2003
Release date: 12/01/2002
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