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DERBY DUGAN'S DEPRESSION FUNNIES

De Haven, Tom.

114 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805044450 / ISBN 13: 9780805044454
Published by Metropolitan., NY:, 1996
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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. Signed by De Haven. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket w/ remainder mark. Bookseller Inventory # 2263

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Bibliographic Details

Title: DERBY DUGAN'S DEPRESSION FUNNIES

Publisher: Metropolitan., NY:

Publication Date: 1996

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st edition

About this title

Synopsis:

New York City, circa 1936: a legendary cartoonist is taken ill with a mysterious ailment. Though Walter Geebus is stricken, possibly forever, his popular comic strip about an orphan boy and his smart-aleck talking dog must go on. But who can "ghost" the Great Geebus and satisfy millions of avid "Derby Dugan" fans? At once a rollicking and bittersweet tale of ambition, temptation, and jealousy, De Haven's novel is a tribute to the redemptive powers of love, imagination, and the well-chosen wisecrack.

Review:

In Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, Al Bready ghostwrites a popular comic strip and struggles to get along with his boss and mentor, Walter Geebus. Set in 1930s New York, the novel is populated with characters who seem to have stepped straight out of a Damon Runyon story. While Mysterious Jones roams the city in a black mask, Marty Planet runs the Mafia, and an ambitious young cartoonist's assistant named Frank Sweeney rots in jail for lacing his boss's coffee with arsenic. He was trying to poison his way to a promotion, but it didn't work. Al Bready caught him, and although Walter Geebus survived the arsenic poisoning, he was never the same. This novel charts Geebus's decline and Bready's efforts to come to terms with the loss of the comic strip he clung to throughout his difficult childhood. Bready is a man of many routines who generally keeps to himself. He ghostwrites five or six comic strips and pumps out a pulp novel every month, but when he tries to write something personal, he feels stymied. He knows the story begins, "Derby's in a rowboat, it's night," but he can't fill in the rest. Bready yearns for the days of his youth, when reading the funnies aloud to his kid sister made everything seem all right. His story is not terribly moving, but it is quite funny, and he makes good company for a few hundred pages. This novel is a nostalgic, witty look back at the glory days of comic strips. --Jill Marquis

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