In May 1989, Dwaine Tinsley stood at the summit of an unlikely career. The product of a broken, trailer-trash marriage, he was a high school dropout who had decided to become a professional cartoonist while serving a six-year sentence in a Maryland prison for burglary. As cartoon editor for Larry Flynt’s notorious Hustler magazine, he had assembled a staff of pen-and-Wite-Out-wielding Lenny Bruces whose unprecedentedly offensive socio-sexual cartoons had spearheaded that publication's fight against the forces of censorship and repression that sought to overthrow the political and cultural gains of the 1960s. His primary personal contribution — spawned amidst a national hysteria that saw a plague of child sexual abuse arising everywhere from pre-school staffs to satanic sects — was "Chester the Molester," a hulking middle-aged man who craved pre-pubescent girls.
And then Tinsley's teenage daughter accused him of sexually violating her over the course of five years. And the prosecution in his ensuing criminal trial cast several storage boxes full of his cartoons against him.
Most Outrageous is the story of the trial of Dwaine Tinsley as well as the story of Tinsley's family life.
Bob Levin's writings have established him as one of the most thought-provoking chroniclers of cartoonists today. While focusing upon the work and lives of the most offbeat creators in the field in order to champion the pursuit of individual vision, no matter how unorthodox or inflammatory, he has explored issues common to artists of every medium. Most Outrageous carries his search onto new, unsettling ground.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 19-page PDF excerpt (96 KB), which includes the first two chapters of the book in their entirety. You can also click here to read the Introduction by Bob Levin here on the website!
"The most challenging and thought-provoking book I read last year... unforgettable... among the great essays on human frailty." – The Oregonian
"An elegant book about the roughest of subjects... Levin has written what may be the first completely unforgettable book about a modern cartoonist... maybe the best book about comics ever." – The Comics Reporter
"Pop culture, Levin reminds us, is always political and therefore always ripe with ideological suggestion." – The Orange County Weekly
"If good criticism is that which prompts and cultivates a reader's interest in the subject at hand, no matter their prior prejudice, Levin is an unassailably great critic. The studied enthusiasm and clarity of his essays suggests that he may be the best comics critic writing today." – Rain Taxi
"Bob Levin's new book sheds light on the legendary HUSTLER cartoonist without passing judgment or picking a side. Nevertheless, the author paints a fascinating picture of the good ol' boy folks around here called Uncle Dwaine." - K.K. Le Roque, HUSTLER
Links to Reviews and Features
More Online Reviews & Features:
The Comics Reporter interview with Bob Levin
The Comics Reporter review
2008 Critics' Lists:
• Chris Mautner, The Patriot-Ledger, "Moxie Awards: Best Book About Comics"
• Marc Sobel (#3)
• The Village Voice, "2008's Best Comics, Clip Art, and Pedophilia"