Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No More Rainbowfarts or Sparklepoop: Why Unicorn Drinks by C. W. Moss

Thanks to C. W. Moss, unicorns are no longer the snow-white beasts of our youth who prance through forests and fart rainbows.

If, like me, you're still scarred from watching the horrid, horrid animated version of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, in which the titular beast was voiced by Mia Farrow, then the outrageously insulting Why Unicorn Drinks is the book for you.  Among other things, Moss' pathetically-funny Unicorn is an alcoholic, a porn addict, and a murderer.

As he did in his earlier book of comics, Unicorn Being a Jerk, Moss takes the horned beast out of myth and plops him down in contemporary, dysfunctional America. In the debut, we see Unijerk doing things like smashing kids' sandcastles at the beach, parking in handicapped spaces at the mall (then rollerblading away from the car), and feeding bacon to pigs.

In Why Unicorn Drinks, Moss answers his opening page ("Because:") with 65 four-color illustrations like this:

His first kiss was with his cousin.
Or this:
Putting in overtime didn't pay off.

You can see more unicorn comics at Moss' website.  Trust me, I haven't even shown you the most untamed illustrations.

There are plenty of sight gags in these pages (my favorite is the one where Unicorn is standing on the side of a hill with a bass drum strapped to his chest looking out over the rubble of uprooted trees, overturned cars and houses buried in mud; caption: "He accidentally started the landslide that killed seven families, including one that had adopted two orphans, another that had a special needs child, one with a war veteran of three tours, and the last had some kids who play on their cell phones all day.  He didn't care about those last kids though.").

But for all the easy laughs, there are deep pangs of sorrow and depression (Unicorn waving goodbye to a drunk girl at a party; caption: "He thought it was cupid.  She thought it was vodka."). 

You'll laugh, you'll  groan, you may even sell this book for 25 cents at your next yard sale, but I guarantee you'll never forget Unicorn.  His trials and tribulations are ours--Moss makes him an Everycorn--and, through the bitter chuckles, we recognize ourselves in the reasons for his drinking.

Moss' anthropomorphism turns Unicorn into a Raymond Carver character with hooves.  Despite his rainbow-colored horn, he becomes a whiskey-soaked representative of our deepest fears and disappointments.  Frankly, I feel much better about myself after meeting Unicorn.

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