During Jaime Hernandez's recent visit to NYC for the MoCCA festival, The Village Voice's R.C. Baker took him to MOMA (making the unfailingly-punctual artist late for his signing at our table) and then wrote this cover story about it for this week's issue. The Maggie-and-Hopey-in-the-Big-Apple cover illo is the icing on the cake. (Also of note in the issue: "The Band Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb" by Ward Sutton.)
More Wally Wednesday fun! We've posted this Tim Hensley-created animation of Wally Gropius before, but did you know there are more sizes to be had? Show your Wally love by downloading one of these banners and putting it on your website/blog/profile page/etc., linked back to:
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Wally Wednesday continues! Give your computer the lucrative look with the official Wally Gropius desktop wallpaper pattern, based on the endpapers of the book. If you're on a PC, right-click the image and select "Set As Background"; if you're on a Mac, control+click and select "Set As Desktop Background." Set your background to tile or repeat and voila, the endpaper pattern on your screen!
The Amazon and the nebbish, a match made in Hollywood heaven. This illustration by Drew Friedman is now available as a limited-edition fine art print. Even if you're not buying the print, it's always worth clicking over to read the descriptions and background info for the prints on the Drew Friedman Fine Art site.
Superficially resembling 1960s teenage humor comics, Tim Hensley’s graphic novel Wally Gropius is actually an acute satire of power, celebrityhood, and modern culture that tells the story of the titular character, who bears a closer resemblance to a teenaged Richie Rich or a classmate of Archie Andrews at Riverdale High than he does the famous Bauhaus architect whose name he shares.
Wally is the human Dow Jones, the heir to a vast petrochemical conglomerate. When the elder Thaddeus Gropius confronts Wally with the boilerplate plot ultimatum that he must marry “the saddest girl in the world” or be disinherited, a yarn unravels that is part screwball comedy and part unhinged parable on the lucrativeness of changing your identity.
Hensley’s dialogue is witty, lyrical, sampled, dada, and elliptical — all in the service of a very bizarre mystery. There’s sex, violence, rock and roll, intrigue, and betrayal — all brought home in Hensley’s truly inimitable style. Created during an era when another well-off “W” was stuffing the coffers of the morbidly solvent, Wally Gropius transforms futile daydreams and nightmares into the absurdity of capital.
Originally serialized in Fantagraphics' house anthology Mome, the story is presented here in a larger format with additional, previously unseen material.
“One of my favorite ‘graphic novels’ of all time. Hilarious and utterly unique, Wally Gropius is a work of unassuming genius that rewards on ever-deepening levels with each rereading.” — Daniel Clowes
160-page full-color 9" x 6.75" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-308-8
Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics describes it aptly: "An interesting experiment in Golden Age of Reprints presentational engineering, this new 160-page landscape-format Fantagraphics hardcover collects all of the great Basil Wolverton’s crackpot daily advice strips as seen in the pages of Fawcett’s Whiz Comics, 1945-52, presented in comparison with Wolverton’s original pencil roughs for what looks like every installment." The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon brings the basketball metaphor: "Who doesn't want to read as much Basil Wolverton as they can? He's not in the starting all-time five, but he gets a lot of playing time off the bench." At Comics Alliance Douglas Wolk declaims "Goofiness, history and process!"
128-page color/b&w 7" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-303-3
Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics opines "The centerpiece of this Spring 2010 edition of the Fantagraphics house anthology is, without question, the return of Dave Cooper to comics" and of the other contributors says "That really is a nice lineup"; Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter agrees that it "offers a super-strong line-up of creators." We can't disagree — you can see the full table of contents and samples from each contributor as part of our PDF excerpt.
So head on down to your local comic shop, but not before checking out the bountiful information and sneak peeks at the links above, and it's always a good idea to confirm availability beforehand.
• Dan Clowes fans & Strand Bookstore tote bag collectors alike are sure to be thrilled with the Strand's latest tote release; those in the overlap area of the Venn diagram may explode from excitement. It's pretty damn cute! Peggy's got a close-up of the art.
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