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The Chuckling Whatsit

Details for this: Book
Author: Richard Sala
Format: Softcover
Pages: 200
Dimensions: 7" x 10"
Colors: black & white
Year: 1997
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: 1-56097-281-5
ISBN-13: n/a
Additional Details: n/a

Price: $16.95


A genre-defining masterpiece of graphic noir comes back into print. In The Chuckling Whatsit, Sala weaves the gothic cartooning traditions of Edward Gorey and Charles Addams with a densely constructed, melodramatic murder mystery involving astrology, ghouls, academia and outsider art. Part noir, part horror and part comedy, this labyrinthian tale of intrigue follows an unemployed writer named Broom who becomes unwittingly ensnared in a complex plot involving mysterious outsider artist Emile Jarnac, the shadowy machinations of the Ghoul Appreciation Society Headquarters (GASH), and the enigmatic Mr. Ixnay. Sala's deadpan delivery makes this ingeniously layered narrative a roller-coaster ride of darkly pure comic suspense. Sala's drawing style, while most often compared to Edward Gorey, also reveals the influence of everything from Hollywood monster movies and Dick Tracy to German expressionism and Grimm's fairy tales. New cover.

"At a time when many alternative comics seem to be impulsively created page by page, The Chuckling Whatsit's epic, tightly woven narrative is especially commendable." – The Onion

"'Gothic humor' sounds like an oxymoron. That's probably why so few comics creators — Charles Addams, Edward Gorey — have pulled it off. You can now add Richard Sala to that short list." – Details

"A masterpiece!" – Rue Morgue Magazine

"Tightly plotted... Very few cartoonists put in this kind of forethought and effort, and multiple re-readings deepen the appreciation... Sala's masterful use of atmosphere and mystery allow him to make some parts of his story genuinely frightening, an extremely difficult achievement in comics. Most of the book is also very funny, and it's surprisingly subtle at times." – Comics Comics

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