We’re going to start this one off with a little slide show of paired pictures:
The funness of what’s going on in the pairs is much more obvious when you have the book in your hand. There’s a half page in-between full pages. When you turn the half page, the new half melds with the remaining half of the larger page. Owls become a parade, shoes become a shoe critic, cats become dogs, and houses become butterflies. The idea and execution are immaculate and awe-inspiring. Palefsky holds court as a true artist, with a style that is a mix of surrealism and comic book art.
The words of this book are its one flaw, but they hide subtly enough amidst its pages (something you can’t say for most books). Sometimes Palefsky’s text is so out there that it makes you flinch– cutesy nonsense in the wrong kind of way with no tether to reality. Or his unnecessary need to make it sound like someone can’t pronounce their “L” in order to replace that fine letter with another. Or his puns… But I recognize these as my own personal prejudices, and to be fair, his words are really a 50/50 shot, and sometimes he nails it. For F, there’s “Feroggy F. Rog frolicking with frogsters,” which I adore, and “Owls overlooking other owls.” And sometimes it’s right down the middle, fun yet cringe-worthy, with lines like: “Bobby Sox is in the shoe business. While attending a sneaker preview of the shoe, ‘Kick the Can-Can,’ he footnoted one toucan can’t can-can as well as two can.” Bad stand up joke, yes. But also fun word play. Mmmm, word play…
What it all comes down to is this: Alphamorphabet is unique. And these days, if anything pulls off unique and remains comprehensible and enjoyable, it should be applauded as a brave step forward.