Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is my favorite children’s book, and one of my favorite all-time books, period. As a wee tyke, this book struck a chord within me that I didn’t understand at the time. I grew up in a different age and under circumstances different, sometimes far more different, from today’s. The first time I ever heard the word “autistic” was when reading (when I was still too young for it, according to normie groupthink) issue number 25 of the SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING comic by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben (the magnificent “The Sleep of Reason” issue). My parents had no clue what Borderline Personality Disorder was, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Bipolar Disorder, and truthfully neither did any of my teachers. I had behavior problems, in other words, and no one knew why, except to write me off as a poorly-behaved child. I frequently put on my wolf suit, as did the protagonist in Sendak’s book. I frequently went to the place where the Wild Things lived. The Wild Things accepted me, welcomed me, and never judged me. They were my friends. They were my pack.
Listening to Christopher Walken read Sendak’s masterpiece brought all those old feelings back to the surface—and had me itching to put on my wolf suit again, for old time’s sake.