Not all unicorns are full of sunshine, magic, and smiles; some are surly, sarcastic, and hostile.
Stabby, a stout, churlish, teal-colored unicorn, stars in this collection of stand-alone cartoons, paneled strips, reimagined tarot cards, and funny re-imaginings of iconic images, such as Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring featuring Stabby with a bloody horn and an eye dangling from his ear. Starting with the “Stabginnings” and a darker rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the tone is set as readers see Stabby through a series of job fails such as balloon seller ruining the merchandise or team-building coach whose horn proves deathly in trust falls. A dejected looking Stabby walks through a grocery store stocked with cereals like “Infeerios” and “Shredded Mini Dreams.” Stabby is often gender ambiguous but is noted as the father of assorted hybrid horned zoo animals. In a nod to current events, the irascible unicorn appears as a writer, literally juggling lots of plates when Pandemic, a red-eyed panda, shows up, smashing them all. This collection leans into the macabre—the number of skewered eyes alone is unfathomable—and the gallows humor could easily make it a cult favorite. The color illustrations have verve and energy, perfectly matching the mood of the collection.
An expression of our dark inner demons that is both hilarious and cathartic.
(Graphic humor. 14-adult)
Pub Date: yesterday
Page Count: 96
Publisher: Hermes Press
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021