Hutch Owen: Unmarketable

Hutch Owen: Unmarketable

by Tom Hart
     
 

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  • Collecting the travels and travails of Hutch Owen since the year 2000,

    The Collected Hutch Owen: Unmarketable centers on "Public Relations" as

    Hutch is pitted against the Worner Company and a PR firm bent on redesigning the

    World Trade Center Site. This 92-page story — the longest Hutch story to

    date — was a one-page-per-week

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Overview

  • Collecting the travels and travails of Hutch Owen since the year 2000,

    The Collected Hutch Owen: Unmarketable centers on "Public Relations" as

    Hutch is pitted against the Worner Company and a PR firm bent on redesigning the

    World Trade Center Site. This 92-page story — the longest Hutch story to

    date — was a one-page-per-week improvisational drama begun a personal

    response to September 11, 2001. Other stories include "Aristotle," in which

    Hutch winds up in Worner's employ as a slogan writer, as well as a surreal Hutch

    Owen "24-hour comic" in which Hutch battles the trends of the "far future" when

    everyone wants to be on TV and thinks they have something new to say. Hart's

    shorter Hutch Owen stories round out the collection with "Consumer Confidence

    Level," "In Hong Kong," "Attacking Attacked Attacking," and "The Executive Hour"

    (a solo Dennis Worner story).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hart's angry nonconformist Hutch Owen is a modern comics icon-a pissed-off homeless man who stands up for idealism and represents the individual against looming corporate hegemony. But the tales in this collection are not angry diatribes. Instead, they mix slapstick and verbal humor to create high-level social satire. In the first story, "Aristotle," Hutch pays for a cup of coffee by parading as a mascot outside his favorite coffee shop. His free-form rants catch the eye of his continuing nemesis, corporate head Dennis Worner, whose goal is to market the entire world into bite-sized, profitable chunks. The denouement finds Worner and Hutch in a helicopter over a desert "creativity camp" where Worner has sent his other lackeys for some toughening up, with disastrous results. "Public Relations" is a darker, 93-page tale set in New York in the aftermath of 9/11. Again, Hutch's outsider freedom makes him, ironically, a prime spokesman for the "rebellion" that marketers use to sell their products to anesthetized consumers. This story is somewhat more complicated, and it doesn't unfold entirely clearly as it takes a sympathetic look at traumatized people who are trying to find a way to survive in a commercial society. The simple art isn't quite up to capturing the apocalyptic finale, but it defines the humor and characters well. Hart's greatest strength is seeing all sides of the stories he's telling. Hutch Owen doesn't have any answers, but he has to keep raising the questions. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this satirical, laugh-out-loud funny, and genuinely moving book, Hutch Owen is a street philosopher, a lone voice crying out in the consumerist wilderness against the greed, cynicism, and exploitation perpetrated and perpetuated by big business while eking out his own marginal existence. In the first and funniest of the stories, this outsider, who refuses even to buy things, discovers the magic of barter and then has a run-in with his archenemy, mega-CEO Dennis Worner, who is making an overblown attempt to teach his staff creativity. With its crazy plotting and parodic characters, this story reads like an episode of the Simpsons with profanity, and Hart's cartoony, somewhat crude artwork fits it well. The book's longest story, a response to the 9/11 attacks, changes the tone, with a symbolic and elegiac tale of marketing, golf balls, and ghosts. Hutch's incisive attacks against "the system" and his identification with the poor and downtrodden make him sympathetic and even heroic, but Hart is realistic enough to show the limitations of Hutch's approach. The first Hutch book, The Collected Hutch Owen, was nominated for Harvey and Eisner Awards; this volume is recommended for older teens and adults. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891830556
Publisher:
Top Shelf Productions
Publication date:
12/28/2004
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
0.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 5.90(d)
Age Range:
16 Years

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