Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Check Out RFT Contributor's New Book

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Kevin Huizenga, a self-portrait. - IMAGE VIA

Kevin Huizenga, part of the brain trust behind Amazing Facts & Beyond, which runs weekly in the Riverfront Times (the archives are online, though it looks better in print), has a new book out called The Wild Kingdom and if you have any interest in comics at all -- or philosophy, for that matter -- you should really check it out.

Like Huizenga's previous book Curses (sadly out of print), The Wild Kingdom is a collection of linked short stories featuring Huizenga's everyman character Glenn Ganges. This time Ganges is exploring the "wild kingdom" of his suburban neighborhood, which includes "dead house plants; a recipe for grey squirrel brain; and pigeons eating discarded french fries in the parking lot of a fast food joint." (A preview is available here.)

Ganges' explorations rapidly become a philosophical inquiry into how little we really understand the world that surrounds us, told via increasingly-complex pictures and diagrams and encyclopedia entries -- though that sounds awfully dull and Huizenga's work isn't at all.

As NPR describes it:

Narratively tidy it is not. Neither, for all its humor, could The Wild Kingdom be considered a light read. Instead, what Huizenga has created is a collection of spiky, intellectually adventurous stories that fit together at odd angles. The result: a mordantly funny field guide to a very specific and modern species of dread.

The New York Times wrote last weekend,

click to enlarge A panel from The Animal Kingdom. - KEVIN HUIZENGA
  • Kevin Huizenga
  • A panel from The Animal Kingdom.

Every few pages, there's a hilariously inventive piece of cartooning, like a series of drawings of "fancy pigeons" that start out looking almost convincing and end as horrifying abstractions of feathers and eyes, or a set of deadpan explanatory diagrams that dissolve into gibberish on examination (a caption for a drawing of a beetle: "Dangerous. Unite to form Devastator. There is no you").

For more on Huizenga (and other St. Louis comic book artists and writers), take a look at this RFT feature from 2007, "Pen & Inc." Or just go over to Star Clipper and buy the damned book.

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation