Cats Don’t Exist

    (Fantagraphics, 2004)
™ and © 2004 Jose Ignacio Solorzano

Attempting to parlay his Mexican popularity north of the border, Jose Ignacio Solorzano presents a wildly surreal sketchbook of visual puns. A spiritual stepchild of the ’60s, Jis (as he is better known) swirls whimsical cartoons depicting psychedelic flights of fancy.

Across multiple panels that have minimal captions spin scenes revolving around sex, altered states of perception (potentially peyote-induced), and hedonistic creatures that have gymnastically inclined organs and limbs.

The headliner of 83 vignettes is “Cats Don’t Exist,” in which felines fill people’s daydreams and nightmares. Other snippets include such metaphysical jaunts as “God Forgot This Sandwich” and exercises in self-awareness like “For Kids Who Want to Be Cartoonists.” Some readers will marvel at how this illustrator lets his creative juices run wild, whereas others will conclude that self-indulgent doodlings and random associations don’t make a compelling or comprehensible collection.

— Oliver Chin
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