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Review: Toys in the Basement

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Toys in the Basement

by Stéphane Blanquet

Our hero, attending a Halloween party in an embarrassing pink bunny costume (he wanted to be a pirate) stumbles across a secret underground society of damaged, forgotten, and pissed-off toys in the basement of his friend's house — including the terrifying Amelia, a towering sentient assemblage of broken toy parts out for revenge!

Published by Fantagraphics. More info here

Review by PD Houston:

Yes this book was published last year, but I've just gotten around to reading it and enjoyed it very much so I'm going to post my thoughts about it.

Technically (or so says Fantagraphics!) this is a children's book. A children's book by way of your worst adult nightmare. Seriously if there's a child out there who could read this all the way through without pissing his pants, I would like to meet that child and lock him up before he does the rest of society some harm. Because this "childrens" book is twisted. And that's why I enjoyed it so much.

As an adult I can appreciate this kind of twisted creepy stuff. I love smarmy almost childlike looking comics. The kind that looks acceptable at first glance, but upon reading it you find an underlying creepiness that blackens your soul. So in saying that and while Fantagraphics may say it's a children's book, personally I would never give this to a child under the age of say 10. Kids over 10 could probably handle this, at that age they can seperate reality from make believe. Under 10 though give at your own risk.

The above synopsis provided by Fantagraphics gives you the general idea of the book and it's very apt. Two kids lost in a world of pissed off broken toys is the general plot. But the style of storytelling and the unique art by Blanquet makes this simple plot completely freaky. The vivid bright colors try their best to keep the story from getting too creepy, but it doesn't work.

It's a great little book all in all and I highly recommend it to people who can appreciate a weird yet very lush comic book story that tries it's best to be an all ages book. And if any readers of this blog out there that have actually let their child read this book alone, please comment and tell me what the fuck is wrong with you!

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