GLEN BAXTER HIS LIFE: The Years of Struggle by Glen Baxter

GLEN BAXTER HIS LIFE: The Years of Struggle

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Clearly under the influence of Edward Gorey and Monty Python (among others), British cartoonist Baxter offers a quick mock-memoir in picture-book form--with black-comic (or just plain silly) bits about his Yorkshire childhood, adolescence, and first years out of school. The basic joke is pretty much the same throughout: understated, genteel snippets of prose in juxtaposition with drawings of bizarre, grotesque, or grisly behavior. (E.g., ""There were, of course, the usual minor family disagreements""--illustrated by three bearded gentlemen in conversation, one of them about to detonate a bomb under the others.) And few of the ideas--a dangerously violent sister, a drag-queen schoolmaster, neighborhood eccentrics--are inspired. But Baxter's drawings, many of which echo styles of pre-WW II book/magazine illustration, do have enough manic authority to extract a giggle even from some of the limper notions. So devotees of Gorey-ish whimsy (Baxter is less pointed, less perverse) may find this a droll enough way to pass a half-hour or thereabouts--with solid laughs, mild chuckles, and fey clinkers in roughly equal helpings.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Knopf