Basil Wolverton was a commercial oddity, a one-man art factory who sidestepped conventional virtuosity by forging a highly personal and intricate approach to black-and-white graphics, linked to an intense, often disturbing, imagination and sense of humor. He created an impressive body of work, and Brain Bats of Venus represents Wolverton during his most prolific decade.
In 1946, Wolverton attained national prominence by creating the winning image of Lena the Hyena, “the ugliest woman in all creation,” for Al Capp’s hit comic strip, Li’l Abner. Wolverton’s Lena was unveiled in nearly 400 newspapers, and prominently featured in Life Magazine. This exposure led to his most successful period as a working cartoonist.
The volume continues Sadowski’s biography, which includes scores of letters between Wolverton and his editors and publishers and excerpts from his personal diaries, providing documentary insight not only into Wolverton’s day-to-day life and career, but also the inner workings of the early comic book industry. Brain Bats is also chock full of Wolverton’s comics stories from this period, including 17 science-fiction and horror tales fully restored and never before collected in a single volume.