Tony Millionaire is the man behind Drinky Crow, the lead character on the weekly syndicated comic strip Maakies and the canceled Adult Swim show oddly titled “The Drinky Crow Show”. Besides his world of debauchery and drinking, where his characters often ponder the meaning of life while blowing their brains out and sleeping with each other, he also writes books for children. While they may not be standard children’s books, they are fun and entertaining and full of stuff kids would like, without being obscene or intended for mature audiences. They are the kind of books you would want your kid reading if your kid wasn’t a total dork. His Sock Monkey series is full of amazing artwork, but most importantly the world is populated with interesting and bizarre characters. The imagination of Tony Millionaire taps into everything you wished you could image as a child and he presents it in a way that would entertain you, even as an adult.
You get the feeling of reading old fairy tales, where the Prince wasn’t always charming, the villains would erect down right disturbing and evil plots against the characters and the story, or just the world in general was presented as a harsh reminder of reality. In the original fairy tales, they did everything from killing and/or eating kids to fucking mermaids in their fish holes. The classic tale of Gulliver’s Travels has his running away from giants hell bent on using him as a sex toy. Those are the kind of stories that would terrorize a kid, but today it seems books for kids can only revolve around simple ideas and concepts. Tony isn’t able to take his art and strip it down to fit that tried and true format, it demands a larger stage and he really lets his imagination run with his latest book, Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird.
In the new book Billy encounters a crazy bird that eats away at his garbage/bread head. Yeah, Billy was made by rats out of garbage and baked like a cake. You might want to check out his first book, Billy Hazelnuts to catch up on that. He learns that taking care of other living things is important and often difficult as the bird causes him nothing but trouble. Well, he did sock his mom in the face and chased her off, but he is trying his hardest to right that wrong. Billy doesn’t always do the right thing, but he tries his hardest to make things right, even if that means making everything wrong again. Basically having a cake for a head, he hardly gets this right, but his marzipan heart is in the right place most of the time. I’m sure you could go deeper with this book and explain the morality of Billy, the eating away of who he is by the burden of caring for others and the futility of being “good”.
But I’m not going to bother and if you read too much into this book you probably shouldn’t have kids. With or without children, you can feel good about reading this book. The artwork alone is enough, but the characters just say and do cool things. Plus since the artwork and style of the book is classic, it might improve the look of your bookshelf, which if it is anything like mine is littered with comic books and booze bottles. Check out the hard cover edition of this book and Tony’s other great works at www.maakies.comLast 5 posts by Brian Jones
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