The beautiful grotesques of Megahex are back with more tales of depravity and friendship

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Megg and Mogg in Amsterdam (and Other Stories)

by Simon Hanselmann


2016, 164 pages, 6.6 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches

$14 Buy a copy on Amazon

The entire loveably dysfunctional freak family that stole our hearts in Megahex (and sold them on the black market for hookers and blow) are back in Megg and Mogg in Amsterdam (and Other Stories). Once again we enter the bizarre funhouse world of Megg the witch, her cat familiar/lover Mogg, and their coterie of hangers on: Owl, Werewolf Jones, Mike the Gnome, Booger (a boogey woman), Dracula, Jr., and others.

On the surface, little has changed. The revolving door of Megg and Mogg's house still spins to let their drug-addled crew enter, hatch a series of ridiculous schemes, inhale all of the drugs and fast food, and then we get to watch as one nightmarish scenario after another plays out like a slow-motion train wreck. But there are deeper relationship themes that run through Megg and Mogg in Amsterdam. Over the course of the book, strips begin to introduce trouble in Megg and Mogg's relationship, and Megg's growing attraction to Booger. Werewolf Jones also is having trouble in his marriage and is fighting to retain custody of his two sons (while doing every boneheaded thing in the world to ensure that doesn't happen). The title of the book refers to a trip that Megg and Mogg take to Amsterdam to try and patch up their failing relationship.

The level of depression and depravity that drives Megg and Mogg (even more intense here than in Megahex) might be too much for some, but there is also an undeniable heart that beats at the center of this work. There is obviously a lot of love and solidarity to be found within the complex relationships between these characters – in the midst of the binge drugging, the frequent release of bodily fluids, and the seeming complete lack of any motivation or ambition on anyone's part. The gloss of Megg and Mogg is undeniably juvenile, but it all feels deftly counter-balanced by an intelligence and a weird shape of hope that always keeps me rooting for these cartoon human monstrosities.

Megg and Mogg's world leaks into mine: While I was reading the book and preparing for this review, I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. There I was, at 4am, in my boxer shorts, on the crapper, reading Megg and Mogg. All of a sudden, on the floor right below the book, a black cockroach the size of a midsized American car darted out from between my feet (I rarely get roaches in my house). I freaked. I leaped off the commode, threw the book on the edge of the tub, and grabbed the nearby toilet plunger. The next thing I know, I have the plunger in one hand, a can of Lysol in the other (to smoke him out), and I'm trying to wail away on him without spraying the book with Lysol. After having binge-read Megg and Mogg for a couple of days, I had this very bizarre feeling, there in my underwear, in my admittedly filthy bathroom, that I had somehow entered the aesthetic world of the book. It was a truly bizarre feeling. After the roach had been dispatched, and the fog of disinfectant had settled, I at least knew that I'd found the perfect place to photograph the book for this review. You're welcome, Internet.