Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner

Basil Wolverton, Fantagraphics, $22.99 hardcover (170p) ISBN 978-1-60699-308-8
1950s cartoonist Wolverton (Spacehawk, Powerhouse Pepper) has long been a subject of cult fascination among comics fans for his quirky material and unmistakable "textured" inking style that prefigures the work of underground legend Robert Crumb, and with this oddball volume Fantagraphics unearths one of his forgotten works. Originally running monthly in Whiz Comics (the original home of the classic Captain Marvel) from 1945 to 1952, the Culture Corner was Wolverton's humorous forum for offering advice relating to solving life's mundane problems, such as flattening one's unruly hair, sharpening a pencil, improving one's posture, and even the art of eating soup without slurping. But as an effort birthed from Wolverton's mad genius, the series also offers handy hints on such esoterica as sitting on tacks, "breezeless" sneezing, and the fine art of kicking people in the teeth. Operating in the territory of Rube Goldberg, Wolverton's convoluted plans for achieving his ludicrous goals rely less on mousetrap-like technical gewgaws than the artist's signature grotesques, which are laugh-out-loud joy. While a must-have for Wolverton completists, even newcomers will find the humor readily accessible. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/17/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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