Anthropomorphism is a gift to cartoonists. From Bill Watterson to Stephan Pastis to Charles Shulz to Walt Kelly, cartoonists have known one thing for sure: turn your everyday hooman into a beastie that walks, talks, obsesses, and generally acts like a hooman, and you’ve tapped into comedy gold. (Okay, nobody told Jim Davis about the comedy bit. You can’t win them all).

Find a way to match your animal character with exactly the things that make its humanity a giant, cosmic, banana skin, and you’ve got something that might actually work. So: mayflies, lifespan of a day. Job interview, standard stupidest question ever. And for once in my misbegotten cartooning lackocareer, I think I nailed something pretty well.



“Where do I see myself in 5 years? What is this, some kind of sick joke?”


Trace: who killed Maria James?Trace: who killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely jaw-dropping, compelling reading. I felt like I needed to have a shower after I’d finished. Having not been aware of the podcast, it was all new to me, and I was utterly gobsmacked. The pacing is perfect, the revelations astounding, the writing a pitch-perfect combination of the journalistic and the personal. This is the best true crime book, and the best book about becoming involved in the investigation of a crime, that I have read in a long time. A superb achievement.

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