Pros: Hilariously demented
Rating: 4 out of 5
First published 3/16/2001
“Creepy Susie” is a bunch of line-drawing “cartoon”-stories. It’s a picture book that very definitely is not for children. It contains 14 stories of murder, mayhem, insanity and dysfunction.
The book I got cost about $13 for a hardcover version (the usual retail price is $16.95). At first I thought this was just a wee bit expensive, given that you can read your way through it in 20 minutes. But then I discovered that, because of its 20 minute reading time, you’ll end up passing it off to all of your friends when they visit. And you’ll get to watch the evolving expressions of amusement, horror, disgust and delight on their faces as they read this book. So really it’s worth the $13, as long as you have some friends to share it with!
This is in fact a very disturbing little cartoon book. Decapitation, amputation, cannibalism, deformities, insanities, multiple cases of electroshock therapy, and lots, lots more! This is definitely not a book for the faint of heart. There’s a reason why the full title is “Creepy Susie and 13 other tragic tales for troubled children.”
The stories all have a sort of surprise or twist ending, many of which feel like non-sequitors (but in a good way, not in a “huh? I don’t get it” way). They’re the sort of endings where you can look back and it makes perfect sense; you just weren’t quite expecting it.
The author/artist, Angus Oblong, is a master of the small detail and the disturbingly bizarre plot twist. There are tiny drawn details that just make you laugh hilariously, like the fact that Creepy Susie floats. It’s never explained; it’s never talked about. It’s just there, and somehow it really does add to the story.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is an actual children’s book. There are oblique sexual references and lots of violence. Which is just fine for us adult children, of course, but I wouldn’t hand it to my not-yet-teenaged nephew.
There are stories of kids who get picked on and take bloody revenge. There are stories of children who are treated badly and take bloody revenge. There are stories of children who don’t know how to handle things going well – so they take bloody, well, not revenge I guess. There are stories of children who get electroshock therapy. There are stories of children whose parents are crazy. They’re surreal, weird, sick, twisted, demented, and a lot of fun.
So yes, pick up a copy of “Creepy Susie” on sale somewhere, or just make sure you get to watch your friends reading it. It’s fun, it’s weird, and it’s for the troubled child in all of us.