The story of screwball comics, with new research and rare art from some ofthe most hilarious cartoonists of all time. Before "screwball" became amovie genre, it was a staple of other forms of American culture, includingnewspaper comic strips.
Emerging from the pressures of a rapidly acceleratingtechnological and information-drenched society, screwball comics offered ahealthy dose of laughter and perspective.
The disruptive, manic, and surrealverbal-visual comedy of these "funnies" fostered an absurdist sensibilityembraced by The Marx Brothers (who took their names from a popular comic strip),W.
C. Fields, Tex Avery, Spike Jones, Ernie Kovacs, and Mad magazine.
Comicsscholar Paul C. Tumey traces the development of screwball as a genre in magazinecartoons and newspaper comics, presenting the lives and work of around two dozencartoonists, with an art-stuffed chapter on each.
The book offers awealth of previously un-reprinted comics unleashing fresh views of some ofAmerica's greatest and most-loved cartoonists, including George Herriman (KrazyKat), E.C.
Segar (creator of Popeye), Winsor McCay (Dreams of the RarebitFiend), Rube Goldberg (The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G.
Butts, A.K.) andBill Holman (Smokey Stover). In addition, readers will be delighted to discoverpreviously "lost" screwball masters including Gene Ahern (The Squirrel Cage),Gus Mager (Sherlocko the Monk), Milt Gross (Count Screwloose), George Swanson($alesman $am) and many others.