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Percy Gloom

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  323 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published June 17th 2007 by Fantagraphics
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The Bestest and Artsiest of Sequential Scribblers
78th out of 104 books — 4 voters
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Five Stars
322nd out of 1,481 books — 400 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 28, 2015 Melki rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Percy Gloom's dream job is at Safely-Now, a Cautionary Writing Institute, where he will test products and warn the public of their many dangers.

There's also possible tooth damage if you bite the hairbrush...

Will a series of bizarre coincidences and even more bizarre characters keep the diminutive Percy from fulfilling his fondest wishes?

There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to this silly book, but there are a lot of things to love - the Funnelheads, muffins, Percy's mum, the ritual self-inflicte
Oct 07, 2012 Dan rated it it was ok
Percy Gloom is a one of those graphic novels that at first glance looks like it'd be something exciting and fresh, but stellar artwork- no matter how hypnotic- is no replacement for a scant and bizarrely developed plot that touches on various philosophies like existentialism, nihilism, and various phenomena that we all face- but doesn't really coalesce into any powerful message or conclusion. We're supposed to feel sad for Percy- and that's basically it. We see him try to make sense of the oddly ...more
Nov 18, 2014 Raina rated it liked it
Shelves: graphicnovel, adult
Read with Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann.
Strange unexpected storytelling, that transcends its at-first difficult-to-swallow-illustration style. I loved the details in the illustrations - the giant snails, the shapes of the trees. Transgressive and dark, despite its seeming naivete.
Apr 22, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Percy Gloom lives in an odd Dave Cooper “Crumple” sort of world. There are "just add water" mountains and goats that sing opera. This reads like a Kafka tale, had Kafka also been a cartoonist who trained under Edward Gorey, Richard Sala and Dave Cooper.
Dave Riley
Nov 13, 2013 Dave Riley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
First thing I thought about when entering the world of Percy Gloom was Alice in Wonderland . Hold that thought and lay on some of Terry Gilliam's Brazil and you're getting half way there.

An absolute delight. A bizarre world is Percy's inhabited by nightmarish consequences and peopled by grotesque characters. It's Dickens gone noir.

The fantastical narrative weaves itself around an omnipresent back story that ensures that this is no ordinary graphic novel. EXTRAordinary it is. It's down-the-rabbi
Jul 02, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
I thought that I was hallucinating. There are few comics that are as sweet, humorous, poetic, and beautiful as Percy Gloom. The quirky art drew my attention but the beautiful story and gems of wisdom that are tossed like pearls kept me hooked on Percy Gloom. A most read for comic enthusiasts looking for a break from super-stories or anyone looking to see where words, panels, and drawings are capable of taking you.
Sean Duffy
Oct 25, 2007 Sean Duffy rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. Beautiful, weird illustrations. A story about the meaning of life and cautionary writing--I think. It's Woodring weird, only with more words. Best line:
"As the world crumbled I warned against nail clippers."
Kris Marley Patrick
Dec 22, 2013 Kris Marley Patrick rated it did not like it
Dawn Rutherford
Oct 02, 2016 Dawn Rutherford rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Karpuk
Jul 29, 2013 Nicholas Karpuk rated it really liked it
This book snuck up on me.

I expected a sort of indie-comic transgressiveness, with the usual sort of depraved behavior and twisted scenarios. What I received instead feels more like a more whimsical Kafka.

Surrealism is an impressive trick to pull off well. You have to have a world with bendable rules, but one where the stakes for the protagonist still matter. Modern comics very rarely center on a nice guy. Anti-heroes and edgy jaded cynics normally populate comics, so its refreshing to have a sto
Jul 23, 2009 Becca rated it really liked it
What a delightful find this book was. I fancy myself a creative type, head often floating in clouds embellishing on every part of the world; yet, there's some people whose minds exist on another plane altogether. Their minds don't embellish the world, they create new ones altogether. I see it often in children, who can lead me by the hand into the corner of an empty room and describe to me in detail where I'm standing in a tower of a castle in the grandest kingdom. It's a rare treat to see ...more
Aug 13, 2011 Peacegal rated it liked it
Percy Gloom is a small, hapless man who stumbles through a labyrinthine world populated by grotesque, pig-faced people. I honestly wonder if this graphic novel was based upon the author's dreams and nightmares--it has all the elements of such, including confusing landscapes, everyday worries magnified to epic proportions, important-seeming but eventually nonsensical revelations,and visits from the dead and estranged.

This graphic novel, like so many others, from the get-go contains elements of t
Jonathan Forisha
Jun 28, 2011 Jonathan Forisha rated it really liked it
Really I'd give it 3 1/2 stars.

The art is wonderful in its simplicity. The story is nuts, involving children trying to crumble a whole city by removing a single magical stone and cults of funnelheads intent on destroying the local fair.

It's a zany ride, and unfortunately I couldn't help but feel that I'd read plenty of other stories with this same basic protagonist. No, the others weren't Glooms or had lazy eyes, but so typically nowadays the more literary of the graphic novel genre star rather
Feb 12, 2008 Jay rated it liked it
Recommends it for: The imaginative and the lazy
There's little satisfaction in a story's resolution when the author is allowed to make shit up as she goes along.

For example [SPOILER], a character at end of Percy Gloom realizes that she's lonely after dedicating her life to product safety. Well it's a good thing the protagonist's mother (who appears at the 11th hour, mind you) invented a telescope that allows its viewer to find his or her never-before-seen twin.

Part of me respects the fantasy element and art of Percy Gloom, but the other par
Artnoose Noose
Oct 28, 2012 Artnoose Noose rated it it was amazing
Egg-headed Percy Gloom travels to a foreign city to apply for his dream job writing up possible hazards for seemingly benign commodities like hairbrushes. He unwittingly becomes ensnared in a plot to help the terminally ill of the land, who are otherwise doomed to be made into soup.

He's a likeable anti-hero, and what can I say?--- his best friend in the land is named Bernard. I'd recount my favorite quote in the book, but it's one of the final lines, and I think it gives away the moral of the s
Feb 02, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
The tale of an aspiring "cautionary writer" (Danger: toothbrush could cause inner ear damage," etc.) who can eat only buckwheat muffins and lemon juice, told with tenderness and ambivalence. Really, this book is amazing. What sort of a mind invents characters who ritually slap themselves to death? Or whose ears grow to monstrous proportions as they near death? And then draws this? A genius.
Destiny Dawn Long
Malkasian's art is gorgeous. The world that she creates is a fantastic and labyrinthine fairy tale realm. Her characters are distinctive and relatable. And her story is captivating, engaging, and thoughtful.

She uses the medium of comics artfully--her varied panels create a sense of time and space, internal and external worlds, pacing, wonder, and suspense.
Jul 30, 2011 Bert rated it it was amazing
Wow! Very charming book. A wonderful story featuring interesting and touching characters in a surreal (but very real) world. Simple and deep at the same time, beautifully drawn... got me in touch with my inner Gloom :-) Malkasian's animation background really shines through in the excellent pacing, decoupage and timing of the story. Buy it - love it.
sweet pea
Sep 22, 2008 sweet pea rated it really liked it
a fantastically absurd world. a bizarre socially-inept main character. beautiful illustrations. zany plot. the book does lose steam as it goes on, however. at the beginning i was floored by its brilliance. by the end i thought it was just very good. Malkasian won the 2008 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award at the Eisner Awards.
Oct 13, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
A very unique and curious book. It almost doesn't seem like a coherent story as you read it, but it was a very poignant experience, I realized, as the book came to a conclusion. And actually a pretty powerful message that sneaks up on you.
Oct 22, 2010 Kendra rated it liked it
I liked the characters, and the art style, and the penciling is absolutely gorgeous!
I just wish that the plot could connect itself, as the story didn't seem to make much sense. There can be abstraction, but that doesn't mean the plot can't add up nicely together.
Nov 04, 2007 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphicnovels
Cute, yet moving book about some strange little man and his life. I can't really describe it, it's just something you have to read. I really enjoyed it though and it made me smile and really appreciate life.
Sep 30, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic
review haiku!

intriguing premise,
artwork reels in shaking head.
still. this is weird stuff.

i don't have many words for this graphic novel. but the last line is killer: in the business of caution... we are unprepared for happiness.
Mar 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites
one of the most original and refreshing works of comic art and narrative i have seen in a long while. found this little gem while browsing throught my universities comic section in the main stax. love it.
Jan 17, 2011 Judith rated it really liked it
A heart-warming story about risk-taking and inevitable death. I would recommend it for people
who have a terminally ill parent/spouse/friend. It could help. I cried at the end but I think it also
had to do with listening to classical music at the same time...
Mar 07, 2009 Hillary rated it really liked it
This was my first graphic novel, and I rather enjoyed it. I loved the wacky fantasy land and story. It was a quick read and a great introduction to graphic novels (for someone who is not drawn to that genre).
Apr 23, 2010 Frank rated it really liked it
Artwork and tone right up my alley, but it's the absurdist nuances and attention to detail that sets this apart.

"In the business of caution...we are unprepared for happiness."
Jan 31, 2015 Jacobi rated it did not like it
Shelves: trades-read
I can see why people like this, but it was just tedious and boring for me.

The art was really nice though.
Mar 04, 2013 Whatsupchuck rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Not as strong as her following effort, but still an enjoyable read. The worlds she creates are full of depth and though they are fantastical, they are also believable.
Mikhail Iskandar
Dec 19, 2013 Mikhail Iskandar rated it really liked it
I liked it. I'm starting to read more graphic novels, and this was a good start. It's surreal and charming, and the characters are wonderfully drawn.
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Cathy Malkasian's alternative comics career began at age four, with the covert distribution of sketches to an unreceptive neighbor (“Keep your brat’s pamphlets off my porch!”). Hot on the heels of this and various kindergarten triumphs, she became overbearingly enthused, teaching herself to sketch and paint, pursuing music lessons, play auditions and somehow ending up with a degree in musicology. ...more
More about Cathy Malkasian...

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