with the loveliest colors by Celi Godfried.
This utterly charming collection of cartoon vignettes revolves around a Cryptid Club populated by the mysterious monsters that have haunted folklore since time immemorial. Well, mostly since time immemorial, as there are two much more modern but still quite famous cryptids featured here as well, in the form of Eric Knudsen’s Slender Man (created in 2009!) and Trevor Henderson’s Siren Head (2018). Also, did you know that Cthulhu’s first printed appearance was in 1928, in a H. P. Lovecraft short story? I feel like I did, but also that Cthulhu and the rest of that mythos were far, far older!
Regardless of their origin point in human history, each of these monsters and more are presented as having very relatable needs and desires, particularly when it comes to modern living. After all, who doesn’t want friends and understanding, and a flattering photograph taken every once in a while? Told in a loosely linear fashion, we follow along as the cryptids establish relationships, tell jokes and try to connect with the weird humans who keep wandering through their lives.
Sarah Andersen’s humor is both gentle and sly, and I laughed a lot more than I expected to while following along with the trials and tribulations of her unusual subjects. The helpful glossary at the end serves also as a brief character bio, as she tells us the origins and other relevant trivia of the cryptids that so enliven this book. It definitely makes those things that go bump in the night a little less scary for readers, even if her characters still serve to (generally unwittingly) terrorize the poor humans they come into contact with here.
This is the perfect collection for any cryptid lover, but also for anyone who enjoys wryly witty takes on modern life in the form of quick-reading cartoons. They’re probably a little more sophisticated than most kids will appreciate, but are a great pick-me-up for any adults who enjoy a little weird humor.
Cryptid Club by Sarah Andersen was published September 20 2022 by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is available from all good booksellers, including