Things just get away from you
A collection of comics shorts from a brilliant young talent. Blessed with a lovely bouncy, rubberySpongeBob SquarePants-y style, cartoonist and animator Walt Holcombe tells wildly imaginative stories of love gained and (often) lost.Things Just Get Away From Youcollects all of Holcombe's late-1990s comics work, with a bonus new story, "Hails at Sea," thrown in for good measure. Things Just Get Away From Youleads off with "King of Persia," a 1001 Nights/Yiddish vaudeville-inspired graphic novella in which king Faisal Al-Ghazali must win the affection of the woman he loves by traveling to an enchanted land in search of a giant emerald, while accompanied by his faithful companion, the talking camel, Jamila. From the pages of Holcombe's short-lived but beloved comic book seriesPootcome four stories: "Swollen Holler," a romance between two bugs whose supporting characters include an elderly bachelor, Professor Owl, and a lonely snail named Snail; "The Eighth Wonder," a breezily suggestive, picaresque pantomime story featuring a romantically-inclined barrel-clad wanderer; "The Red Grampus," in which the whaler captain Reginald Nubbins pursues an old enemy unleashed upon him by his first great love, the mysterious Julietta; and "Count Stinkenpuss," in which the eponymous count wins the prestigious Tattersall Cat Show, only to have his prize-winning cat, Mr. Lovely, stolen by a vengeful ex-lover, resulting in a battle to the death in a dogfight over Mt. Kilimanjaro. The book also includes "What Do Pretty People Think About?," a pathetic bit of speculative envy in which Holcombe muses about the condition of physical beauty: What do pretty people think about? Do pretty people feel pain like normal people? Do pretty people even have souls? Finally, the all-new "Hails at Sea" is a collage of Holcombe's troubled dreams over a three-year period. Vampires, unfortunate sexual metaphors, talking fish and Tiny Tim all make an appearance in this tribute to the return of the repressed. Holcombe has focused his attention on animation for a number of years, butThings Just Get Away From Youis a handsome and charming testament to a unique voice in the comics medium.