Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Book Reviews: From political histories to bad comics, to bad comics of political histories. And the occasional rant about fiction and writing.

Mimsy Review: Oddville! and Land of Nod

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, June 22, 2001

Listen up Tod Johnson, Melanie McCay A.K.A Jetcat does not beat up moms! She only beats up evil! Of course, she could make an exception if the only person who knows her secret identity (that’s you) doesn’t keep quiet!

Flying babies from outer space, a paranoid town that hunts the baby down to kill it, and an eight-year-old superhero named “Jetcat”. What more could you ask for?

RecommendationPurchase Now!
AuthorJay Stephens
Length88 pages
Book Rating7

Oddville! is the story of a small town and the flying baby that wreaks havoc across the criminal, law enforcement, and cat underworld. It’s got everything: zombies, mad scientists, giant radio-controlled robots, all living in a small town somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

When a flying baby pops out of nowhere, the town of Oddville developes a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, it is cute and cuddly and it smiles a lot. On the other hand, it is a freak of nature and it smells funny. So, like any psychotic American town, they alternately love it and hunt it down like the freak it is. I was hooked on this story right from the first page, where little Tod Johnson is trying to get a kiss from little Melanie McKay (aka Jetcat):

Hey Melanie! Can I kiss you?

Gross! Of course not you weirdo!




(flying baby lands on the ground)

Aah! Look what you did! A baby!!!

Well... pack your bags! We’re moving into my tree fort!

You wrecked my life, you sex maniac!

This is an incredibly funny and even touching story. Kids love it, although their parents may not approve. Adults don’t have to worry about their parents, so I strongly recommend you go buy this at your local comics store.

This is part of a larger series titled “The Land of Nod”. “Land of Nod” is usually produced as a series of comics. There was a 3-issue “Land of Nod” in 1996 printed in about 9 by 6. The first issue involves, mostly, Space Ape #8, who was an interdimensional television show in “Oddville!”. You’ll want to read this one to know why Space Ape #8 has a robot dog in the 4-issue Dark Horse miniseries. The second one is a really weird, unrelated piece called “Captain Rightful”, which has nothing to do with Captain Rightful (apparently a superhero worm), but about the horribleness of life for some stick figure whose girlfriend dumps him, he eats too much, drinks too much, and farts himself into space, from which he falls back and lands in a Snack Hut where he gets a heart attack when another, female, stick figure blatantly propositions him. The story goes from there. The third issue is this weird, Gorey-style “King Tutenstein” feature about a mummy child (King Tutenstein) and his adventures in an old museum with a siamese bat. Very cool stuff.

In 1997, Jetcat returned in a four-issue Dark Horse “Land of Nod” series also featuring Space Ape #8. It’s Melanie McCay’s 8th birthday, but the Jetcat Hater’s Club plans to disrupt the festivities. It’s really too bad this one hasn’t been collected into a trade paperback because it’s really, really cool.

I recommend you purchase these all immediately. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t available--you’ll need to scout them out at bookstores and comic book stores. Look for “Oddville!” first, since it ought to be the easiest, and appears to be back in print. Originally published as a series, it is available as a single book, although you’ll probably only find it in comic book stores.

If you like “Oddville!”, look for either of the two “Land of Nod” miniseries. The Dark Horse one, in my opinion, is best; it also is the closest to “Oddville!” in look and feel. Unfortunately, neither the 1996 nor 1997 series are available now as far as I can see. The Land of Nod treasury and Rockabye Book are both available, but I have not seen them yet.

Oddville! and Land of Nod

Jay Stephens

Recommendation: Purchase Now!