I’ve read quite a few comic books in my day, they mostly involved some type of violence — usually a villain getting drop kicked in the face. Stories are all well and good, don’t get me wrong; it’s what got me into comics in the first place. But there comes a time when you need something a bit mellower. There’s a limit to how much spandex-clad superheroes punching people in the face I can take.
Well, you’ll be reassured to know there are loads of indie comics out there on the mellow side. One such writer and illustrator is Craig Thompson. Praised by many (myself included) for his second novel “Blankets,” Thompson has developed reputation as the indie comic book king.
Before his fame for “Blankets,” Thompson wrote an equally beautiful story “Good-Bye, Chunky Rice,” a remarkable debut for this amazing artist.
I’m a dude and I have to admit this book is frickin’ adorable. I don’t know how Thompson does it but every character in this story is disgustingly cute. The main character, a turtle named Chunky Rice, to his best friend Dandel, a mouse, even to the way he draws dogs. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.
What the story really is about, though, is finding the place where you belong. That may be where you’ve always been or it may be out there somewhere, waiting for you to find it.
Sometimes, however, that means leaving a loved one or good buddy behind. Which happens in the case of Chunky Rice, who feels that he has outgrown his small beach town and sets out on an ocean voyage to find something anew. Yet, that means leaving his best friend Dandel behind because she is content to stay where she is.
Or maybe, in the case of Chunky Rice’s old neighbor, you’re the one who stays, but your best friend, a bird named Merle, flies away from you. Even though it seems like all is lost, you never really know when they will come back.
Who knows, maybe when you are out searching for that special something, you realize the place you have always belonged is back home with your dearest friend.
If you’ve been missing that long lost friend, this book is for you. The book reiterates that there are no good-byes.
It’s almost summer and time for a good beach read. I suggest picking up a copy of “Good-Bye, Chunky Rice.” Short, sweet, tender and insightful, this really is a remarkable book. Altogether nautical themed with a healthy dose of charm, wit, sadness, longing and laughs, you won’t be disappointed. And if you are, I’m not really sure what your problem is.
After this short detour into the realm of mellow comics, I feel that it’s high time, next week, to review a series full of myth, legend and a giant right hand of doom. “Hellboy: Weird Tales,” a collection of Hellboy stories written and illustrated not by Mike Mignola, but many amazing artists in the comic book scene. It’s going to be pretty epic.