The Arsenic Lullabies

    (AAA Milwaukee, 2003)
™ and © AAA Milwaukee Publishing

Unafraid to explore the lighter side (as well as the darker side) of the darkest, most disturbing places imaginable, The Arsenic Lullabies is a sick and twisted comic book that apparently finds no subject taboo. Where creator Paszkiewicz gets his inspiration is anybody’s guess. Actually, it’s easy to see where his ideas come from: the daily newspaper. Using irony, childhood innocence, and a dash of grotesquery, Paszkiewicz finds humor in anthrax, fetuses, child molestation, the bombing of Hiroshima, teens tossing unwanted babies into the trash, and more. His art is cartoony (shades of Harold Gray and Hergé), and the material is strangely lacking in nudity or coarse language, making the startling stories all the more disturbing. (Ironic, ain’t it?)

The letter accompanying the review copy of this issue says that it “will make as many people weep for the crumbling of our culture as it will make laugh out loud.” That pretty much sums it up.

—Brett Weiss
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