The BackShop Journal

A Gallery of Thoughts on Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

Squish, a Clever and Entertaining Comic Strip

There has probably never been a more unsightly and, at the same time, a more impressive comic strip. The main protagonist, Squish, is an amoeba. An amoeba! All his friends and teachers are different single-cell microscopic organisms: Peggy, the eternally happy girl, is a paramecium, and the school principle is a cross-eyed planaria with a necktie. Squish also befriends the algae brothers and a hydra. These graphic novels are a textbook example of how much can be accomplished with a simple technique, the use of just one colour other than black, and an unpretentious, but witty and inventive story. Admiringly, Squish is equally attractive for pre-school kids, adults, and everyone in between.

In every episode, Squish reads a comic strip about his favourite super hero, Super Amoeba. The stories of the comics-loving schoolboy and his hero run parallel to one another. In the third volume, for example, they both have to accept that they have stepped beyond the point of decency, and they must learn how to confront their new best friend. The book always ends with an unexpected, dramatic splash. In the first story, the class bully who wants to eat the naive and always enthusiastic friend Peggy, gets eaten by her "pet," a giant slimy mold (It does not look as violent as it may sound). Squish is imaginative, genuine, and really, really funny.

The authors are a brother-and-sister team: Matthew "InkBoy" Holm  and Jennifer "WriterGirl" Holm, famous for their award-winning Babymouse series. Jennifer is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed novels, including Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven and Turtle in Paradise, and Matthew Holm is a graphic designer and freelance writer.

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