Picks and Pans Review: The Alien Diaries

updated 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Maris Bishofs

Bishofs is an illustrator who was born in Latvia and has lived since 1982 in New York City. His impressions of New York life in particular and American life in general are summarized in the peculiar, puzzling, funny cartoons that make up this book. It purports to be entries from the diaries of an extraterrestrial female who looks a little like an ant. She includes what seem to be Polaroid photographs of herself doing such things as walking through Central Park with Yoko Ono or posing for a group portrait with Boy George, or as the daughter of Eleanor Bumpurs (killed by New York police in a controversial 1984 incident), a subway gunman, Claus Von B├╝low, a Con Edison employee and a Norwegian fashion student. There are also drawings that obliquely suggest the alienation and overmechanization of modern life. Observing a movie theater about to be struck by a meteor, the alien wonders, "Is cinema reality, or is reality the remaining part of the world which is not projected on the screen?" (Adama, $9.95)

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