Fuzz and Pluck: The Moolah Tree

Ted Stearn. Fantagraphics, $29.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-60699-966-0
Stearn’s anxious dim-witted teddy bear (Fuzz) and angry defeathered rooster (Pluck) return in their third outing with more bizarre, dark humored adventures. The story opens with them lost at sea on a small raft, using their own body parts to bait fishing lines. Soon after this grizzly task they are rescued by a squid fishing boat and then just as abruptly kidnapped by a trio of inept pirates. From their captors the pair learn of the fabled Moolah Tree, which grows dollars in place of leaves. They are quickly swept up in a series of wild chases, escapes, deals, double-crossings and thefts as the search for the Moolah Tree continues. Stearn’s simply drawn cartoon protagonists–presented in a Dr. Seuss pastiche–move through a richly rendered world of dramatic mountains and ramshackle pirate ships cutting through stormy seas, in a bleakly funny parable as the opportunity of unlimited riches floats just beyond reach for the hapless duo. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
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