The Comic Book Fools of April – Sock Monkey Volume 3!
Every day in April I will be featuring a humorous comic (either an issue or a series of strips) that I found particularly amusing. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org the comic stories that are your favorites when it comes to hilarity, and I’ll see if I can’t feature some of them this month, as well!
Tony Millionaire is the brilliant comedic writer and artist behind the Sock Monkey series of books. Sock Monkey is about, well, a Sock Monkey (named Uncle Gabby) and his best friend, a stuffed animal crow (named Mr. Crow, naturally). There have been a few volumes of the series, but Volume 3 won the Eisner Award, so I figured I’d spotlight this volume (there are two issues in Volume 3).
Issue one involves Gabby and Mr. Crow deciding to become hunters. But who shall they hunt?
Luckily enough, they come across some salamanders who are in the midst of bugging some bugs…
Things are quite confusing for the captive creatures, and things are only to get worse…
The salamanders are feisty and are quite up to fighting for their lives, but luckily it doesn’t get that far…
What a delightfully bizarre tale of a simple sock monkey learning the value of life. This being Tony Millionaire, of course, once you’ve spent the whole issue establishing that…well…it makes the final page of the story that more twisted.
The second issue is not as amusing, but boy is it well-written (and obviously it is well-drawn, as well, as Millionaire is a great artist).
As Crow wonders what is it that makes he and Gabby different from actual birds and monkeys, Gabby learns ANOTHER valuable lesson in the value of life…
I won’t show you any more of this issue, as it is just too powerful. Millionaire often uses Gabby’s naive approach to the workings of the world to great comedic effect. Here, though, he uses that same attitude to explore what happens when someone like Gabby does something horrific. The result is still comedic, but it is a dark, dark comedy that is quite evocative. Millionaire’s sequential storytelling is marvelous here, especially on a series of silent pages.
It all leads to a simple, yet powerful ending. Of course, Crow is around to make sure there is still some humor mixed in.
I believe Volume 3 was collected into a book with Volume 4. Go pick it up, it is more than worth a read! Hell, just get all of Millionaire’s work! He’s awesome.