A.L.I.E.E.E.N., or Archives of Lost Issues and Earthly Editions of Extraterrestrial Novelties, was another book I discovered via My Ideal Bookshelf, recommended by cartoonist Zachary Kanin. A collection of vignettes about aliens, told in an alien language, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. may be from a galaxy far, far away…but the morals and lessons are recognizable by any human.
In his letter to the reader, author Lewis Trondheim talks about how he happened to stumble upon this otherworldly collection of tales. While vacationing in the Catskills, Trondheim and his family came upon a grassy area that had been burned and covered with debris. They were about to turn around and go back, but then he spotted a tattered, beaten-up comic book on the ground. The title, the artist, and the language were all new to him. Was this comic from another planet? Was the debris from something outside of planet Earth? Did a space ship create this burned perfect circle in the grass?
After reading the book, Trondheim got in touch with a publisher and submitted what appears to be the very first comic strip for extra-terrestrial children ever discovered on our planet.
A rare artifact written in an alien language, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. is a collection of interwoven tales that prove that some stories are indeed universal…no matter how weird or bizarre they may seem. Regardless of how many eyes, legs, or tentacles they have, it’s comforting to know that aliens also cry, laugh, smile, poop, and develop friendships. They fall prey to peer pressure, have a great sense of humor, try to do good, and learn from their mistakes. You may not know exactly what these little guys are saying, but through images and expressions, us humans can try to understand the workings of this alien world…and perhaps find comfort in the fact that, in reality, these lovable creatures really aren’t so different from us, after all.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.