1-800-MICE is Matthew Thurber's comic book anthropological study of the imaginary city of Volcano Park: a cross between Thomas Pynchon, Robert Altman and J.R.R. Tolkien. Over the course of the story we meet Peace Punk, a punker on the verge of a bourgeois lifestyle; Tom Chief, a beat cop with an identity crisis; and Groomfiend, a daffy creature who leads the narrative. The serial has earned Thurber rave reviews from, among others, cartoonist Ben Katchor, who writes: "Matthew Thurber has singlehandedly revived the Surrealist program of revolutionary politics through dreamwork. What more can you ask for in a comic-book?" This edition collects five issues of 1-800-MICE, plus 48 pages of new material.
"1-800-MICE reads like a mysterious oddball artifact from a much stranger and cooler parallel universe." — Matt Groening
"As a cartoonist, Thurber's work reveals a tension between complex but traditional narrative structures, boldly avant-garde visual storytelling, and the overall sensibilities of a gag cartoonist. 1-800-MICE is the culmination of many years of exploration in comics and is hilarious, absurd, thought-provoking, compelling, and pointedly satirical all at once. It's a sprawling epic that leaps between the narratives of a number of different characters before drawing them together in unusual ways, depicting life in a vibrant, tense Volcano City set in a fantasy world where trees are sentient, banjo-playing gangsters hire sushi-chef assassins, and both consciousness and identity are highly fluid concepts." — Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
"Mice couriers, man-tree love, sushi-chef assassins, hydro-powered-car chases, propagandist skywriting, a sinister banjo contest, Internet 5.0, and a mystery drug made from dead trees. Matthew Thurber's weird and wonderful 1-800-Mice is the Gravity's Rainbow-Sherlock Holmes-Professor Sutwell-Inspector Clouseau-Silent Spring of comics." — Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review
"This intricately epic, epically absurd fantasy is set in Volcano Park, a setting that in terms of kooky characters rivals H.R. Pufnstuf's Living Island. Talking trees, messenger mice, sinister dentists and hermaphrodite hippies abound. This ain't no stream of consciousness, more like gushing dam-busting river. One of a bazillion subplots involves an effort to revise history to read that the banjo was created in Scotland. How? By planting fake YouTube videos that insert banjos into historical scenes featuring Highland folk heroes. As nutty as this all sounds, its a remarkably readable hyper-imaginative ride." — Jeff Newelt, Heeb Magazine
160 page black and white hardcover with color covers.
Picture Box, 2011