Henrik Drescher’s Tales From the Crib: True Confessions of a Shameless Procreator (Harvest/Harcourt Brace & Co., unpaged, $9.95, paper) should quell even the strongest breeding urges. This morbidly humorous cartoon opus views parenthood as a living nightmare, an unholy visitation upon the foolish and the good-intentioned alike.
Working exclusively in unappetizing, scorched hues of orange and black, the artist considers the de
Such wordplay is characteristic of letterman Drescher, who turns “courtship” into “coit-ship,” then demonstrates how a well-appointed “post-modern interior” becomes a debris- strewn “post-partum interi
Die-cut in the shape of a baby bottle, Tales From the Crib misses no opportunity for oddness—it even features flip-animation in its rubber-nipple area. As the pages are scanned from front to back, a cartoon baby throws three temper tantrums, then smiles benignly. When the pages are riffled from back to front, comics depict the child’s harried, whimpering father. These moderately disturbing images, however, are no match for the textual horrors.
Despite its grim hilarity, Tales From the Crib‘s sense of desperation grows troubling. In one collage, a man with a pie-chart for a brain (there are only four op
Throughout, the author—who’s written gleefully monstrous children’s books including The Boy Who Ate Around and Pat the Beast ie—evidently speaks from experience. In the jacket photo, Drescher poses with his two elementary-age children, who stare sullenly, and his wife and infant son, who smile as if oblivious to the terrors of family life. Giant plastic flies are affixed to their clothing. Like many of the bleakly funny illustrations, it’s a resounding image. Parenthood is tough, but being a kid in the Drescher household might not be that easy either.