Tony Millionaire, Maakies, 2000
Tony Millionaire (born 1956) came to comics a little later than usual. He didn't start drawing comics until the 90s, and he started drawing his weekly strip Maakies in 1994 in the New York Press, which was well-known for its innovative comics lineup. Maakies combined ribald, absurd gags with a drawing style that recalled 19th century book illustration (think John Tenniel). With its nautical setting (Millionaire is a master of depicting sailing ships) and bizarre funny animal characters (Uncle Gabby, a revolting ape, and Drinky Crow, and alcoholic crow), Maakies is simultaneously beautiful and slightly disgusting. That tension makes it one of the most startling, hilarious strips of the past 25 years.
Millionaire also produces children's books and has provided illustrations for The Believer since it was founded. There are many Maakies collections. This strip in this exhibit, which is quite tame compared to the average Maakies episode, was purchased from the artist based on our shared love of the novels of Patrick O'Brien.