Maakies is a weekly comic strip
drawn by cynical, dysfunctional artiste Tony Millionaire. Although unpopular compared to comic "brands" such as the ubiquitious Garfield
, it revels in a large and frenzied cult following, and runs weekly in many major cities throughout North America
The strip chronicles the adventures of sailors Uncle Gabby
and Drinky Crow
. Their love of the sea
is gently tempered by alcoholism
, shipwrecks, existential angst
, French armadas, bizarre monsters, incredibly frequent suicides
, and many things too puzzling and revolting to explain. Nonetheless, they keep tacking away at their miserable little lives; Drinky Crow
is heard to remark that "Being drunk is the best feeling in my poor world" after he burns an entire dinner party to a crisp in the act of pilfering their cognac
, then ends up sizzling like KFC
himself. He was back in action the next week -- it's a comic strip
. But until I read Maakies, I didn't know that the effects of comic strip
misadventures could build up and up until the characters were reduced to numb, stumbling zombies unable to function in polite society without the twin crutches of vomiting
. "I am laughing at the horror of being alive," Drinky Crow
explains. He's simply, sickeningly right.
lush ink illustrations are reminiscent of Golden Age strips like Little Nemo in Slumberland
, and the lovingly detailed nautical
images bring to mind a much earlier era still. Maakies' cancerous heart lies in the uneasy balance between this atmosphere and the shocking, deadening hilarity of Gabby
adventures. It has the beauty of a junky Tinkerbell
dying in the gutter, weeping silvery tears for all that might have been. And if you drink her tears, you get high, and Gabby
are first in line.
You can read Maakies at www.maakies.com.