There are certain comic book writers and artists that simply have their finger on the pulse of brilliance; their ability to construct fascinating, engrossing, and alluring stories and illustrations cannot be explained, other than to say that they have a gift of which we are fortunate to celebrate. One such individual is Roman Dirge, multiple Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist and creator of the much-loved macabre series, Lenore. Dirge, who has found a permanent home with publisher Titan Comics, will soon release his latest collection, The Cat with a Really Big Head, which compiles his wonderfully bizarre stories, “The Cat with a Really Big Head” and “Monsters in My Tummy,” into an incredible hardcover, and I cannot wait to give this phenomenal work a home in my own graphic novel collection.
As a compilation of Dirge’s gorgeously grotesque work, The Cat with a Really Big Head finds that which is endearing in that which is repellent, serving as a heartfelt and, at times, comical commentary on the loneliest valleys in life. In a forward written by Dirge himself, the writer/artist recounts the circumstances under which he created the two horrifically humorous tales, having been the victim of a loving relationship gone inexplicably and expeditiously sour. As the result, the reader experiences the journey through heartbreak and healing in “Monsters in My Tummy” as well as the misfortune of being misunderstood when dealt an unfortunate set of circumstances in “The Cat with a Really Big Head.” While the former relayed a truly beautiful tale of loss and self-acceptance by way of a battle of the literal monsters within ourselves, the latter allowed the reader to identify with an unfortunate kitten whose only crime was being born with a gigantic noggin. All told, Dirge’s incredibly dark and gloomy artwork provided a perfect platform for his sharp humor and storytelling, which so perfectly encapsulates both his wry wit and silly charm.
The Cat with a Really Big Head will truly be a treat this summer not only for fans of Dirge’s previous work, but for anyone who enjoys the amazing juxtaposition of the heartfelt and the macabre. With all-new coloring by Adam Bolton and a surprise treat in the form of an additional mini-story, I highly encourage readers to pick up their own copy of this wonderful collection!