Michael Dormer is synonymous with the California surf counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s. The post-World War II influence of Beatnik poetry, jazz, and art interpretation around the California Coast created a revolution in the Orange County surf world, and no one defined the visual style of this movement more than Michael Dormer. His career as an artist took off in the 1960s, when he created Hot Curl, the mop-haired, knobby-kneed, pot bellied surfer who quickly became a nationwide sensation, appearing regularly in SurfToons magazine (and still appearing regularly in Surfer magazine). He also created the cult classic 1960s TV show Shrimpenstein!, an off-beat children’s show featuring a miniature Frankenstein monster, which was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s.
Michael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl is the first-ever retrospective of this unique artist’s work, culled from the late artist’s own archives and collecting all of his Hot Curl comic strips for SurfToons, his designs for Shrimpenstein, a vast selection of his fine art, and other surprises, such as the artwork he created for the opening credits of 1964’s Muscle Beach Party film starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
"If counterculture is your vibe, this is your favorite release of 2017." — Broken Frontier
"Multitalented artist Michael Dormer passed away in 2012, and he left behind a legacy of strange and wondrous works including the comic character Hot Curl, a selection of fine art, and the 1960s TV show Shrimpenstein! Now Fantagraphics is publishing the first-ever retrospective of the artist." — The Stranger
"Hot Curl started life as the second character in a comic strip in Michael Dormer’s 1959 self-published 'zine The Scavenger, and became one of the icons of the “Kustom Kulture” and Lowbrow Art movement centered around the surf and hot-rod counter culture of early '60s California. ... Michael Dormer’s comics and art are celebrated in a 200-page hardcover retrospective." — Surf Simply