Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies

Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies

by Tom De Haven
     
 

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A rollicking and bittersweet look at the cutthroat world of professional cartooning, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies is also a tribute to the redemptive powers of love, imagination, and the well-chosen wisecrack.  See more details below

Overview

A rollicking and bittersweet look at the cutthroat world of professional cartooning, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies is also a tribute to the redemptive powers of love, imagination, and the well-chosen wisecrack.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beneath the raffish surface charm of De Haven's comic-strip-like novel is a potent meditation on death, violence, broken hearts, friendships betrayed and life's other inconveniences. This sequel to Funny Papers is kinetically illustrated by Art Spiegelman (Maus), whose cover painting and comic-strip running heads mesh perfectly with a wickedly amusing romp that marvelously captures Depression-era Manhattan's tempo, lingo and places, from Harlem jazz clubs to chop-suey joints. It's 1936. Walter Geebus, the grouchy, five-times-married creator of the syndicated comic strip "Derby Dugan," mysteriously collapses and is hospitalized. His constantly feuding collaborator, prolific hack writer Al Bready, suspects that a disgruntled former partner, who went to jail for poisoning Walter in 1934, may somehow be involved. Through the cheerfully cynical voice of the smart-mouthed Al, De Haven conjures a world that has more moxie than ours. While evoking the romance of a bygone era, the story, filled with wry observations, depicts the birth pangs of the cutthroat, exploitive comic-strip industry with historical fidelity. Far from being two-dimensional, De Haven's off-kilter characters-an ex-bootlegger who's now a comic-book mogul; a flirtatious schoolteacher who is the swooning Al's confidante; her jealous husband, a lunchroom owner who always smells of chlorine from swimming twice a day at the Y-leap off the page into your face. 25,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June)
School Library Journal
YA-Orphaned Derby and sidekick Fuzzy, his talking dog, conquer near-death obstacles in a 1930s daily comic strip, Derby Dugan. Al Bready scripts the comic strip that the originator, Walter Geebus, illustrates. Both men, orphaned in their youth, devote their lives to the strip like loving fathers. Differing vastly personally, they disagree professionally only on whether Derby is 10 or 14 years old (the ages they were orphaned). Al narrates and loosely links professional and personal events into a bittersweet tale. He and his cohorts speak in a lively, upbeat dialogue that oozes with Depression years' slang. Interspersed are fascinating tidbits about the comic-book industry. Many teens will enjoy the novel's quick pace and characters who transform their dysfunctional family backgrounds into productive adult lives.-Linda Diane Townsend, formerly of Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805053562
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/15/1997
Series:
Niagara Large Print Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
4.86(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

Tom De Haven is the author of several novels, including Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies (winner of the 1997 American Book Award) and Funny Papers. A frequent contributor to Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times, he also teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives in Midlothian, Virginia.

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