A.L.I.E.E.E.N. - Lewis Trondheim

Book Review by Sean Michaels | 13 Sep 2006
If I accept 'A.L.I.E.E.E.N.'s central conceit - that it is an alien comic book, discovered in a crater in the American Catskills - then the first observation I would make (smugly) is that the universe's extraterrestrials seem just as melancholy, confused, terrified, vicious and constipated as we humans here on Earth. And while these colourful creatures can put on each other's discarded skins, perform gruesome experiments on ghosts and reproduce by swallowing eyeballs, don't be fooled: it's no kids' book. Cute beasties get lonely, get assaulted, watch their cities fill with shit. Trondheim's best trick is the way he mixes ruthlessness with pathos, black humour with bright whimsy. 'A.L.I.E.E.E.N' is as tender as it is dark – kindness grows even under the bleakest stars. [Sean Michaels]
A.L.I.E.E.E.N.' is published by First Second. Out Now. Cover Price £7.99.