Dread and Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip

Overview

Woody Allen's classic neurosis, humorous life philosophy, and complex relationships, are embodied in the classic comic strip "Inside Woody Allen," syndicated daily by King Features from 1976 to 1984, illustrated by Stuart Hample. Dread & Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip is a compilation of 220 of the best of the comic's comics, all reproduced from the original art, along with sketches, photographs, and development work.
 
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Overview

Woody Allen's classic neurosis, humorous life philosophy, and complex relationships, are embodied in the classic comic strip "Inside Woody Allen," syndicated daily by King Features from 1976 to 1984, illustrated by Stuart Hample. Dread & Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip is a compilation of 220 of the best of the comic's comics, all reproduced from the original art, along with sketches, photographs, and development work.
 
An all-new preface by Hample provides a rare glimpse into the creation of this material, revealing a long-overlooked facet of Allen's career that is smart and funny and as timeless as the man who has inspired a generation with his unique vision.

“Dread & Superficiality is a must for Woody Allen fans, both for its reminder of how iconic he used to be, and for Hample’s frank introduction, in which he writes about working with Allen in the early days of the strip.”
–The Onion A/V Club
 
“…this thorough collection is an unexpected delight. As a primer for would-be cartoonists, the text provides great insights into the development of this sadly dying art form.” 
–Miami Herald

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"The two major things are sex and death," muses Allen's comic strip avatar, "and naturally, with my luck...it's the wrong one that lasts forever." Hample's Inside Woody Allen ran in international syndication from 1976 to 1984 and at its best draws the combined chuckle and gut-squirm characteristic of Allen's greatest lines. But Allen did not write the strip, even if Hample did draw on Allen material. So, as the artist himself admits, these comics did sometimes fall short of Allen's intention for an "offbeat and intelligent," even daring, strip—owing to syndicate executives' focus on mass appeal ("Go easy on God references") and the cartoonist's desire to please. Many of the gags now seem mainstream, but perhaps that testifies as much to the difference between 1984 and 2009 as it does to syndicate queasy feelings. VERDICT This collection offers historical interest and mildly nostalgic humor, almost tame when compared with the more pointed and darkly rich Boondocks and Doonesbury. In today's nearly-anything-goes climate, web strips like Dinosaur Comics and xkcd push comic strip frontiers much further (see Graphic Novels, LJ 9/15/09 and BookSmack!, 10/1/09). For media collections and larger public libraries.—M.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810957428
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,451,729
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Hample, chronic self-doubter, writer, cartoonist, and "multi-media failure," has written, edited, and illustrated more than two dozen books, including the international bestseller Children's Letters to God. Woody Allen is a writer and filmmaker whose prolific career has spanned five decades. R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an American architect, designer, author, futurist, inventor, and visionary.

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