cover image The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees

The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees

Tony Millionaire, . . Fantagraphics, $19.95 (119pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-893-0

With a Drinky Crow Show cartoon in development, the popular Sock Monkey kid’s series to his name, and several Eisner Awards to his name, Millionaire is well positioned for multichannel success. That said, his strip—the last two years’ worth of which are collected in this book, elegantly designed by Chip Kidd—remains something of an acquired taste. Although Millionaire’s gorgeously ornate and lively art (also his habit of filling space at the bottom of the strip with a second, even looser story) recalls early 20th-century newspaper strips, his subject matter, perverse and scatological when not strictly non sequitur, is strictly out of the late 20th-century hipster ironist’s school. The main character is mostly perpetually sozzled Drinky Crow (eyes usually rendered as Xs) and occasionally his enabling Uncle Gabby. The strips themselves go for the one-off joke more often than not, getting plenty of mileage out of Crow’s aggressive boozing (he briefly encounters sobriety, declaring it to be “horrifying, a hideous sack of pain, anguish and terror” before returning to the “joyous world of the drunken”), as Millionaire knows quite well at this point just how many laughs he can get from the site of an angry, drunk bird. (Apr.)