School assignments, sleep and even Super Amoeba comics go by the wayside when protozoan protagonist Squish is “infected” by a video game.
Seeing best buddies Pod and Peggy mildly addicted to “Mitosis,” Squish spends birthday money for his own copy and maniacally proceeds to work his way past the game’s dozens of levels through sleepless nights and dazed days. Presented as usual in simply drawn, thick-lined panels with green highlights, the episode makes its point by switching from views of the bleary, unwashed victim to screen after screen after screen (“Uh, are you as bored as me?” the occasionally intrusive narrator interjects) of heavily pixelated cells dividing. These culminate at last in an equally pixelated nightmare and a “GAME OVER.” Fixation likewise. Happily, there’s no permanent harm done, as Squish has an English teacher who slips him a makeup assignment to cover a late book report and a dad so cool that he later accompanies his blobby son in costume to a comics convention that just happens to feature the (unnamed but recognizable) “creators of Babymouse.”
Funny and snarky as ever, with a cautionary but reassuring message that this common malady will, like most childhood colds and fevers, run its course naturally without outside intervention. (science project, drawing page) (Graphic novel. 7-9)