Having grown bored with MTV sometime in early 1984, I missed this animated series when it was broadcast a fewyears back. But now it’s been collected onto videotape, and I’d like to recommend you check it out.

The story and characters have been rehabilitated from a comic book by the same name (which, I must confess, I've never read). The Maxx is a big purple guy who alternates between being a homeless bum and the King of the Australian Outback. Not the real outback, mind you, but a sort of alternate reality outback populated by strange creatures and presided over by Julie the Jungle Queen. Except Julie is also a "free lance social worker" with a weight problem who has a bit of a Thang for the Maxx--or at least she feels sorry for him. Together, when they’re not pissing each other off, they’re struggling to figure out what their Outback alter egos are trying to tell them about their "real" existence, and scrabbling to escape the evil machinations of the mysterious Mr. Gone, who also appears to shuffle between realities.

Nothing is as it appears to be, least of all the characters. Everybody in this "cartoon" is complex, everybody comes with a lot of historical baggage, and nobody is innocent. Of course, the "Outback" is the Unconscious, and The Maxx --which is by no means Kid’s Stuff--uses this bizarre interdimensional setup and its rich, quirky characters to take us on a sophisticated exploration of the Country of the Mind. Well worth your time.

Captain America meets Carl Jung. Sullydog approves.


Reviews Index