July 3, 2011 Leave a comment
If Julie Doucet was a man, she would have a girlfriend with huge breasts. She would throw her down on the hood of a car and have her way with her. She would look similar to the woman version of herself, but with more of a V-shaped torso. She would zip up her pants and chuckle. Or maybe she would discover that she had grown a penis, and then shake her male member gleefully.
This is the sort of thing that crops up when the longtime cartoonist is asleep. The “If I was a man” premise creeps into her subconscious along with other super whacky dreamscapes in her collection My Most Secret Desire.
There is also the teeth-falling-out-of-the-mouth dream, the I’m-still-in-school dream, and the I’m-an-astronaut-dream. Each is told in this heavy-handed, darkly etched, highly detailed way that is dark and grisly and delicious. You wish you had dreams like this — meeting Micky Dolenz, for instance.
In another gender bender, she discovers that she has a penis and considers the usefulness of it. She can pop the top off of it and carry things inside of it. Magazines, a toothbrush, condoms. She can stick a flower through the hole at the top or use it as a third leg. She can harness it and pretend it’s a mustang.
One dream-within-a-dream finds her pregnant, sitting in the bathtub with her boyfriend. The child escapes through her stomach. She wakes, thinks that was weird, then proceeds to give birth to a cat that she breastfeeds in her bed.
Early in the collection she is an astronaut who is being sent into space. But first her mom stops by the space shuttle to deliver masturbation cookies. Julie strips down, tests them, breaks the fourth wall to smile at the reader.
This is some wicked stuff. Hilarious and detailed. Layered and interesting. A sort of R.Crumb if R. Crumb carried tampons. Julie Doucet seems to be that fantastic girl doodling dicks on her notebook.
This review was originally posted on June 24, 2011 on Minnesota Reads.