The Mousehole by Martín Romero

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The Mousehole
by Martín Romero

Weird and beautiful, Martín Romero‘s comics are lovely to view even when they’re untranslated and written in his native Spanish.  Romero’s work is extremely esoteric, to the point of being nonsensical, but he’s a great talent, no doubt about it.  If part of an artist’s job is to offer a fresh and challenging perspective of the world, Romero’s working full-time.

I bought The Mousehole in its English translation at the 2007 MoCCA Festival, but it’s mostly wordless, so the few bits of dialog it reveals aren’t much help in discerning the overall plot.  In the end, this mini offers the kind of comedy that is so ridiculous and absurd, you have to laugh through the confusion and appreciate what’s left over: an innocent young nerd with a very bad bully problem and naught but fantasy and technology for protection.

In The Mousehole Romero explores the nasty concept of Bonsai Kittens, which the young protagonist manipulates to perfection.  It seems a pack of cats has made off with the head of his beloved “Super Mouse” toy, and he uses the Bonsai Kitty to infiltrate their lair and bring it back.  However, not without consequences.

The book is remarkable.  The paper selection, print quality, lettering, layout, artistic style – everything – is cohesive and beautiful.  The cover is a creamy shade of tan, somewhat glossy, and textured.  Inside, the paper is like a sturdy kind of newsprint with black ink applied so delicately and with such a variety of texture it looks mostly gray.  The book is 20 pages long and available for $3 through Bodega Distribution.

– Sarah Morean

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