This nearly wordless romp from master cartoonist Roger Langridge is the author’s paean to the silent, heartbreaking slapstick comedies or the teens and ’20s, spun for a contemporary audience, starring his most popular character. It finds our hero Fred pitching the woo to a lovely equestrian. But with matrimony-minded fathers, boorish beaus, and malicious mad scientists interfering at every opportunity, what’s a clown—and his faithful pig companion—to do? Langridge’s velvety grays evoke the silent films of his patron saint, Buster Keaton (and, in this volume particularly, the latter’s masterpiece, The General). His craft is at a zenith, and captures every screwball twist and turn of the heiress’s and our hero’s romantic roundabout.
Though he has garnered considerable acclaim the past few years for his brilliant takes on licensed properties as The Muppet Show, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Marvel Monsters, Langridge is at heart a cartooning auteur, whose books for Fantagraphics have earned nominations for Eisner, Harvey, Reuben, and Ignatz Awards.
"Want to get your kids into Buster Keaton but afraid they won’t watch a silent black-and-white movie? Langridge’s slim graphic novel is a good intro to the form, with a monochromatic palette and almost no words, but the simplicity of the book makes it an easy read for kids." — Paste
"New Roger Langridge work is always going to be a treat and when it has an old school nostalgic vibe to it all the better!" — Broken Frontier
"A hybrid of silent film tribute and the underground comics scene, this latest Fred the Clown book takes his Buster Keaton-influenced protagonist on another journey of violent slapstick, unrequited love, and brilliant visual gags." — Panel Patter
"The Iron Dutchess manages to be a madcap adventure, but also a beautifully structured story with multiple threads moving along and leading to some strange and hilarious surprises by the end." — Smash Pages