By Heinrich Hoffmann; Bob Staake (Illustrator)
(Fantagraphics Books, Hardcover, 9781560977025, 32pp.)

Publication Date: March 2006

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Originally written in 1845 by German physician Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894), 'Der Struwwelpeter' reads like a fairy tale breaking loose from a doomed rollercoaster, crashing through a rusty calliope, and finally splashing into the miasmic ooze of Hell but somehow still managing to float. Mesmerized as a child by the nightmarish prose and haunting images contained in the book, noted author/illustrator Bob Staake (MAD magazine, Cartoon Network, even Hallmark Cards) gives a 21st century spin to these 14 stories-each more politically incorrect than the next. The nastiest things happen to children who disobey the wishes of their parents: thumb suckers have their digits cut off, the pyro-fascinated are set ablaze and, of course, picky eaters rot away and die prematurely. In other words, precisely the type of bedtime stories you'll want to read to a six-year-old, provided it's not your six-year-old. Gorgeously designed and illustrated, Staake's Struwwelpeter is sure to spark as many "oooo's" and "ahhhh's" as it does nightmares. This is a new Blab storybook, a series of graphic novels showcasing artists from Monte Beauchamp's annual BLAB anthology, presented in a faux-children's book format, though aimed squarely at adults and young adults.
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