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In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary

by Sarah Boxer



In the Floyd Archives is a cartoon novel lightly based on Freud’s famous case histories – the Wolf Man, the Rat Man, Dora and Little Hans. But in this wildly inventive comic, the analyst is a bird and his patients are mammals: Wolfman is a passive-aggressive wolf with identity issues, Rat Ma’am, an obsessive-compulsive rat, Lambskin a depressed lamb (or lambskin), and Bunnyman a paranoid rabbit. For aficionados of Freud and those just wanting to dip their toes into the world of psychoanalysis, In the Floyd Archives is a great romp with scholarly footnotes leading back to the Freudian sources.


If Freud had a bad dream, it would probably be Floyd ... A wildly clever collection in which little animals stand in for Sigmund Freud's most famous cases and for the doctor himself. – Jenny Lyn Bader, New York Times

Boxer belongs to the line of erudite, intellectual cartooning exemplified by Jules Feiffer, David Levine and Edmund Gorey. … As an artist, Boxer's great strengths are her inventive sense of design and her ability to imbue simple line-drawn characters with distinct personalities. Like the early Sunday pages of Krazy Kat, boxes and circles play off each other, as the shifting borders of the panels mimic the fluid emotions of the characters. … Funny and disturbing at the same time. – Jeet Heer, The Comics Journal

As the story unfolded, it got funnier and funnier, and funnier and funnier. Suddenly it was very painful. – David Levine

About the Author: 

Sarah Boxer, writer, cartoonist, critic, is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and a critic who writes for The New York Review of Books, The L.A. Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Comics Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Photograph, and Artforum. She published her first cartoon in a local Colorado newspaper at age 12. For many years she worked at The New York Times as an editor, critic, and reporter. Boxer’s essay on George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, “The Cat in the Hat,” was featured in Best American Comics Criticism. Her essay “Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?” was anthologized in Rereading America. Her piece “The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy,” will appear this year in The Peanuts Papers. Born in Denver, Boxer lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, son, and two cats. There she is at work on a series of tragic-comics, including, Hamlet: Prince of Pigs (part of which appeared on the NYR Daily website) and Anchovius Caesar: The Decomposition of a Romaine Salad.

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