The Three Tenors: Off Key

    (Äardwolf, 2005)
™ and © 2005 Äardwolf Publishing

The horror genre description applies loosely to this book. Strange skulls in creepy attics, flesh eating pigs fattening troll children for the knife, and estranged lovers with desperate agendas all make appearances, but so too does ironic super-hero mockery, the untold history of King Kong’s saddest victim, and internecine conflict at a Jewish rabbinical college.

The three tenors are comic veterans Dave Cockrum, Clifford Meth and Bill Messner-Loebs, and this “off key” volume presents several prose stories of various lengths written by each. The stories have no unifying theme aside from a free-form expository vibe, which might remind some readers of bedtime stories—demented, twisted bedtime stories deranged mommies and daddies might read to defenseless little boys and girls.

The one story here that is not prose, “Abortion Stew” by Bill Messner-Loebs, features a cadre of impatient anti-abortion activists seeking to persuade a subversive scientist of supernatural talent to service their agenda by revivifying an aborted fetus, accelerating its aging process, and bringing the creature to a political rally. Off key? Indeed. Robert Crumb, call your office.

— Leland Burrill

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1 copy available for $14.99
ca. 2005Dave Sim, William Messner-Loebs, Dave Cockrum, Clifford MethDave Sim