THE MOO-STERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF COW

Muppets are always getting hilariously confused—like Traveling Matt, who explored the human world and decided that yellow cabs were fierce creatures who’d learned to sit when they heard “Taxi!” The goat detective at the center of this Québecois graphic novel follows in the same tradition. When a cow disappears from the farm, he decides she’s been kidnapped by aliens. He has evidence. She was wearing a shiny silver dress that resembled a space suit, and the spiral patterns that suddenly appeared on the lawn might have been crop circles. There are competing theories. Pig, for example, thinks the tractor might have broken down and started spinning in circles. But Pig can’t claim to be the “world’s #1 goat detective.” Van Hoof’s ads also say that he’s the “Winner of Best Disguise, goat category, Grade 8 Costume party.” The most literal-minded readers may wonder if he was a goat disguised as a goat. But that actually fits into the book’s goofy, absurdist sense of humor. It includes a raccoon with a mask tied around his face. None of it makes much sense, and, of course, the youngest cows know the solution before the adults. But the loopiness is appealing, and the minimalist, wavery ink drawings are delightfully simple.

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