cover image A.L.I.E.E.E.N.


Lewis Trondheim, . . Holt/First Second, $12.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-095-2

The latest offering from the prolific French cartooning sensation winkingly purports to be an extraterrestrial comic book found by the cartoonist while on vacation in the Catskills. Trondheim fills the stories with "alien" dialogue, which naturally can be read without the help of any words, filled as they are with Trondheim's trademark silent comedy. Creatures stroll through psychedelic landscapes and have adventures in miniature. They are eaten, operated on and transformed, all in just a few short pages. Like a Pokémon story gone horribly, and hilariously, wrong, these cute little aliens are always being tortured or haplessly having their eyes poked out; one even floods an entire city with an endless stream of extra-dimensional poop. The artwork represents a departure for Trondheim, as its alien "source" results in its appearing to be old: pages are yellowed, and subtle but gorgeous dot-screens fill in the lines. Adult comics aficionados who appreciate Trondheim's work will find this book quite enjoyable. Older children should also be amused by the violent but delightful whimsy found within. (May)