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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
David Perlmutter’s Orthicon is the kind of fiction that rarely gets written because animated cartoons blending with the real world seem like the stuff that only Hollywood will dare make. But Perlmutter makes it work as a short novel, and the result is not only great reading but a breakthrough in satirical fiction. At the helm of power is President Mucklebackit, who was elected into office for promising to save society from the existence of living cartoons, something that defies the laws of logic and physics. They are therefore considered a greater threat than the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Mucklebackit orders the deportation of Toons to a distant planet called Orthicon. But in every ploy to marginalize members of a particular group or society, often something wrong happens along the way, and things go awry when a group of Toons called the Suckerpunch Girls butt heads with the CIA.
I’ve never read anything like this before, and it takes me back to the days of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The Suckerpuch Girls, obviously a spoof of the Powerpuff Girls, live and breathe like the rest of their fellow Toons. They fight real people and they pose a serious threat to national security. It may sound absurd, but it’s gratifying. It’s easy to write predictable stories with contrived plots, but it’s incredibly challenging to write a story that takes the trouble of making you suspend disbelief. This is the magic of David Perlmutter’s story. It doesn’t stop at sheer enchantment. In the guise of satire, its underlying social message will make you think about that age-old issue of discrimination and the fear of things that you don’t understand. Is Orticon for kids or for adults? After reading it, I came to the conclusion that this is a must-read story with a universal appeal that will cater to anyone who loves a piece of the surreal.