Take a trip to the amusing and poignant Duplex Planet.
The Duplex Planet started in 1979 as a small, self-Xeroxed fanzine by David Greenberger. In 20 years, it has become a veritable cottage industry and endless source of inspiration for Greenberger. The Duplex Planet features stories and conversations that Greenberger had with the residents of the Duplex Nursing Home in Boston, where he worked in the late-1970s and '80s. Greenberger presents the beauty and comical wisdom of the often-bizarre and occasionally poignant things said by his elderly friends. Greenberger never imposes his own worldview, allowing the residents to quietly flesh themselves into some of the more remarkable characters in contemporary literature. No More Shaves presents these stories in comics form, interpreted by many of today's best cartoonists, including Dave Cooper, Jason Lutes, Rick Altergott, and more. Too frequently the elderly are ignored or denied a voice in our contemporary culture; Greenberger allows them the opportunity to share their opinions, wit and creativity in ways rarely experienced by many. No More Shaves builds on Greenberger's text by further humanizing the residents of the Duplex Nursing Home through the comics medium; the sympathetic lines of these excellent cartoonists give them immediate life and form.
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David Greenberger received his degree at the Massachusetts School of Art, afterwards taking the position of activities director at the Duplex Nursing Home. He has been a contributor to NPR's Fresh Air as well as working on various traveling shows based on The Duplex Planet. He lives with his wife Barbara and daughter Norabelle in Greenwich, New York.From Publishers Weekly:
For over two decades, Greenberger has interviewed retirement home residents, attempting to depict as many characters as possible in this often-overlooked demographic. He posed offbeat questions (e.g., "What do you think George Washington's voice sounded like?"), sometimes letting his subjects ramble. He recorded the results and published them in his zine, Duplex Planet, and this collection of interviews features illustrations by comic artists. Though Greenberger is still interviewing subjects, this volume presents six of the men he originally befriended. Each section begins with a photographic portrait of the interviewee, followed by a handful of his memorable quotes. (Arthur Wallace, 1893-1980: "Hey! Hey! Don't be worryin' about goddamn international politics! Go down and tell Mary I want some whiskey!") He then shares segments of his conversations or stories in comic form, each by a different illustrator. Some artists portray interviewees in youth, as in "Baseball Damage," drawn by Tim Hensley. In "What's Gravity?" (drawn by J.R. Williams), an elderly man simply smokes, his facial expressions changing subtly from panel to panel. Others, like "Hiding in the Trees," drawn by Paul Nitsche, are more fantastical. Though styles vary, the art is consistently expressive and successfully illuminates the stories' poetry, whimsy, humor and melancholy. It sometimes even buttresses disjointed speech: aged minds tend to work in hard-to-follow ruts, tangents and circles-part of the book's charm. Greenberger offered these men a patient ear at a time in their lives when most people get ignored. The work's longevity will remind readers they yearn for the company of these precious individuals, and that's reason enough not to forget them.
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