Percy Gloom

Overview

2008 Eisner Award winner for Most Promising Newcomer: an absurd but hopeful cartoon fable for these strange times we live in.
Cathy Malkasian has made the jump from animation to the printed page with a graceful, delicate leap. She deftly uses her pencil to create thick, expressive characters moving through the twilight of a shadowy Orwellian world. Humorous and bewitching at the same time, Percy Gloom is a unique gem of a story. The story begins with our hero bravely striking ...

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Overview

2008 Eisner Award winner for Most Promising Newcomer: an absurd but hopeful cartoon fable for these strange times we live in.
Cathy Malkasian has made the jump from animation to the printed page with a graceful, delicate leap. She deftly uses her pencil to create thick, expressive characters moving through the twilight of a shadowy Orwellian world. Humorous and bewitching at the same time, Percy Gloom is a unique gem of a story. The story begins with our hero bravely striking out on his own for the first time, leaving his mother's house to apply for his dream job as a cautionary writer for the Safely-Now Corporation. In the process, he uncovers an unreal world of secret societies, benevolent families, and bureaucratic security. Lazy-eyed Percy Gloom fights to overcome the loss of his wife, Lila, to a truth-pointing, lotharian cult leader. Approached by his doctor to help protect some special people and given advice by some talking goats, Percy comes to terms with his place in the gloomy world and finds himself reaching enlightenment (literally). Percy Gloom is an absurd but hopeful fable for these strange times we live in.
2008 Eisner Award winner: Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award and 2008 Eisner Award Nominee: Best New Graphic Album.

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Editorial Reviews

Sequart
“There's a sense of joy and creepiness on every page, and Malkasian keeps the story lively and even suspenseful as she slowly unravels the story's themes, twists and turns. The result is a new kind of 'fairy tale' with abundant charm and surprising depth.”
Booklist
“If Percy's world were any gloomier or softer-toned, it would be irritating, but Malkasian invests it with enough wit and slyness to maintain a quick, quirky pace.”
Bookslut
“This reads like a Kafka tale, had Kafka also been a cartoonist who trained under Edward Gorey, Richard Sala and Dave Cooper.”— Chris Reilly
Largehearted Boy
“Of all the graphic novels I have read this year, Cathy Malkasian's Percy Gloom is the one I have been consistently recommending to friends and family of all ages. Imagine Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth written by Tony Millionaire.”
BeaucoupKevin.com
“Amazing, smart, heartbreaking, and beautiful.”— Kevin Church
The Comics Reporter
Percy Gloom is one of the best books out this year... I can't imagine we'll see a more assured and surprising debut this year.”— Tom Spurgeon
Harrisburg Patriot-News
“A stunning debut, filled with striking, smart ruminations on the brevity of life and happiness and the sweetness of both.”
Chris Reilly - Bookslut
“This reads like a Kafka tale, had Kafka also been a cartoonist who trained under Edward Gorey, Richard Sala and Dave Cooper.”
Jim Woodring

Cathy Malkasian's Percy Gloom shines a light on a hidden world, using language and ideas that are daringly naked and vulnerable, evoking something real, rare, and relevant. Such exquisite drawing, in the service of such rich ideas, sustained for such a long, lovely dance! The world looked differently to me after I'd finished reading it.

Cory Doctorow
“This all has the charm of something like Howl's Moving Castle or Yellow Submarine, and Percy and his friends are drawn in a lovely, old-timey way that made me smile on every page. This is a big, solid, handsome hardcover.”
Dick Hyacinth
“Malkasian's art is absolutely lovely—filled with curving,
collapsing architecture rendered in sepia colored pencils.... Malkasian delivers a positive message about the ephemeral nature of life.”
Kevin Church - BeaucoupKevin.com
“Amazing, smart, heartbreaking, and beautiful.”
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“Percy Gloom is one of the best books out this year... I can't imagine we'll see a more assured and surprising debut this year.”
Jeff Smith
“I love this book! Cathy Malkasian's Percy Gloom swirls with echoes of cartoon landscapes from the past and present. You can almost hear Percy Gloom's meek, docile little voice. Her writing is so full of wit and charm that we, like the title character, walk dutifully to the edge and fall in. And like Percy, we are rewarded equally with night terrors and secret treasures.”
Publishers Weekly

Malkasian is an accomplished animation director so it's a pleasant surprise that her first graphic novel is so literary. Her surreal world grapples with many deep themes. The eponymous character has always dreamt of working for Safely-Now, the company that puts warning signs on household objects. The road to Percy's dream job lands him in many weird situations with cults playing a major role in both his past and present. The entire Safely-Now operation seems to be run by maniacs, with the kindest people Percy meets the talking goats. Within all these imaginative creations lie ruminations on topics such as living a cautionary life, the value of life itself and imminence of death. It's an ambitious project, but Malkasian infuses the book with a mythic spirit that fits just right. The appealingly grotesque look-curved buildings and endless staircases-has a solidity that helps the strange world make sense on its own terms. The tinted duotone makes the book look like an instant antique. It's clear that Malkasian is more interested in cosmic questions than a tight plot, but since she weighs those questions so well, it's easy to appreciate how good this book is. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560978459
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2007
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Malkasian is an animation director and cartoonist. Her credits include Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys film
(for which she received a British Academy Award nomination), and most recently,
over 20 episodes of Curious George for PBS since 2008.

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