Louche and Insalubrious Escapades of Art D'Ecco

Overview

A formally playful feast of visual and verbal humor.

In the late 1980s, long before his work on the Eisner and Harvey-nominated Fred the Clown, Roger Langridge worked with his brother Andrew on a comic called Art d'Ecco. In these early stories, done mainly (but seldom entirely) for laughs, one can see the beginnings of the formal playfulness that would characterize the later...
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Overview

A formally playful feast of visual and verbal humor.

In the late 1980s, long before his work on the Eisner and Harvey-nominated Fred the Clown, Roger Langridge worked with his brother Andrew on a comic called Art d'Ecco. In these early stories, done mainly (but seldom entirely) for laughs, one can see the beginnings of the formal playfulness that would characterize the later work of both Langridge brothers, and of the elaborate layering of subtle and not-so-subtle nods and references to the world of music, film and literature.

At the core of Art d'Ecco is the dysfunctional relationship between Art and his idiot sidekick (and embryonic Fred the Clown prototype), the Gump. They are in fact a classic double-act, Art's offhanded sadism and the Gump's cheerful obliviousness bringing to mind Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or even Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie. Added to the mix is the surreal and manic presence of Art's negative twin, Art Nouveau, dragging an air of bewildering unpredictability in his wake. The stories casually use issues such as censorship, religious fundamentalism and even Marxist theories of capitalism as a skeleton around which to build a relentless series of verbal and visual gags, laced liberally with postmodernist winks and nudges. The overall effect is something like a rollercoaster ride with an Oxford Don after a particularly good cocktail party.

Also in this volume is a selection of newly produced material, marking Andrew Langridge's first new comics work in over a decade, and some rarely-seen early stories never before published in the USA.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Art d'Ecco, who has the square jaw that only comics can provide, and his triangular and singularly unintelligent roommate, Gump, stumble through misadventures shaped more by the clich s of comics and fine art than by any logic. In this collection, Roger Langridge, the Eisner and Harvey -Award-winning author of Fred the Clown, presents his early collaborations with his brother Andrew. The brothers have steeped themselves in high-brow culture and regurgitated it into sharp, boldly drawn satire--the frontispiece is a riff on the famous dadaist painting La trahison des images by Magritte. The comic is filled with characters from Art 101: the unintelligible Art Nouveau; the smiley-face Kitsch and his Pacman-like wife; the Escher-esque Esch (who has a pronounced lisp); and, of course, the title character, always drawn with straight, clean lines. The stories, from the one-pagers to the longer tales, take every convention of comics and turn them on their ear. The Langridges' work crackles with an exuberance that simultaneously entertains and baffles--sometimes careening into a secret world, but always singularly inventive. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560977964
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 9/15/2006
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger and Andrew Langridge hail from New Zealand. Roger lives in London with his wife, son and daughter; Andrew remains in the old country with his wife, where he serves as the public face of New Zealand culture as the creative director of the Te Papa national museum.
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