Maniac Killer Strikes Again!: Delirious, Mysterious Stories

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Delirious, mysterious short stories by The Chuckling Whatsit's Richard Sala.Maniac Killer Strikes Again! is the tongue-in-cheek title of this "Greatest Hits" collection of "mysterious and delirious" comic strip stories by Richard Sala, hand-picked by the author from three of his long out-of-print books. Sala has selected ten of his favorite macabre tales that showcase his unique niche as a master storyteller lurking beneath the b-movie visual tropes. Included is the entire multi-chapter serial "Thirteen O'Clock" ...
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Overview

Delirious, mysterious short stories by The Chuckling Whatsit's Richard Sala.Maniac Killer Strikes Again! is the tongue-in-cheek title of this "Greatest Hits" collection of "mysterious and delirious" comic strip stories by Richard Sala, hand-picked by the author from three of his long out-of-print books. Sala has selected ten of his favorite macabre tales that showcase his unique niche as a master storyteller lurking beneath the b-movie visual tropes. Included is the entire multi-chapter serial "Thirteen O'Clock" (which was the genesis for his MTV serial "Invisible Hands" on the cult classic Liquid Television) as well as such gleefully spooky stories as "The Fellowship of the Creeping Cat", "The Awful Secret of Dr. Coffin" and "The Impostor". Each story has been reworked and reformatted by the artist for this wonderfully designed 8" x 8" trade paperback. Mix noir-ish suspense and late-night horror movies, add a dose of whimsy and a touch of German Expressionsim and you get these delightfully creepy tales featuring: The shadowy snooper Mr. Murmur; a living, disembodied head; evil plastic surgeons; a museum of stuffed birds; a woman-eating plant; secret societies; hidden identities; girl detectives; and a birthday party that turns out to be anything but happy. Plus, Sala has created new art specifically for this volume. Maniac Killer is the perfect primer for those unfamiliar with Sala's brand of whimsical horror, as well as a must-have for fans of his comic book series Evil Eye and his books Peculia, The Chuckling Whatsit and The Ghastly Ones.


About the Author:
: Richard Sala lives in Berkeley, CA, a few miles from his birthplace in Oakland, despite a lot of years in-between in Phoenix and Chicago.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sala holds a unique place in the comics world. His work is neither fish nor fowl, not too spooky, not too silly and not so far out as to be unreachable. He creates noir stories, some serious, some funny, most both, in a unique visual style. His closest antecedent may be Edward Gorey, but Sala's work is all his own. This collection of short stories from hither and yon goes back nearly two decades. In Sala's world, thieves steal faces, skulls glow, madmen run free, plants eat people and it's always Thirteen O'Clock. The first story (named "Thirteen O'Clock," incidentally) occupies the first 42 pages of the book and brings together many of Sala's preoccupations: strange scientists, detectives, funny names ("Mr. Murmer"), femme fatales, non-humans and so on. But Sala harnesses the weirdness to tell a briskly paced thriller. Once readers get past the subject matter, the storytelling is fairly straightforward. Sala's comics work so well because of the artist's distinctive line work. The characters and places he describes could exist nowhere but in his pages, and so to read a Sala comic is to walk into a baroque world of pen and ink, an experience both jarring and fun. Good for a rainy day or a stormy night, this volume will give old Sala fans a good fix and will thrill (or at least tickle) new ones. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
These unique tales, collected from three out-of-print volumes by Eisner and Harvey Award nominee Sala, are horror with a sense of humor in the tradition of Edward Gorey. Two stories feature the masked Mr. Murmur (a detective in the mold of Will Eisner's Spirit), first struggling against the mysterious Wheezer, the corkscrew killer, and then battling underworld surgeon Dr. Q, master of a guitar-strumming zombie. "The End of the Street" involves "that wily phantom, the Twinge," and the shrunken heads of art critics, while "The Keepsake" should serve as a warning to all male librarians who find themselves attracted to pale, sad-eyed girls returning books. Sala's cartoony black-and-white art is distinctive, shadowy, and effective, and his dialog and narration are overly declarative and melodramatic ("No doubt about it-a fiend is on the prowl!"), with tongue firmly in cheek. His one-thing-after-another story openings almost sound as if they were plotted by Snoopy, but everything is always deftly pulled together. In short, this book is a hoot. Recommended for adults-and teens, too, provided pictures of severed heads won't scare their parents. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A collection of long-out-of-print stories from the late '80s and early '90s. Sala's world is full of deformed monsters and secret societies, of a murderous clan of cat-masked villains and simple mad scientists. If there were such a genre as "gothic absurd," these would be representative examples. In the multi-chapter "Thirteen O'Clock," a serial killer bearing a corkscrew strikes repeatedly while a glowing, disembodied skull talks to the victims. But the enigmatic detective Mr. Murmur solves the crime and shares the motive, too ridiculous to be explained here. In each tale, Sala combines noir mystery with absurd humor similar to the Lemony Snicket titles (HarperCollins), or to Charles Addams and Edward Gorey before him. The naive artwork is reminiscent of Lynda Barry and its simplicity helps to convey the tone of spooky delight.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560975748
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 12/19/2003
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.07 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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