Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies

De Haven, Tom

Published by Metropolitan, 1996
ISBN 10: 0805044450 / ISBN 13: 9780805044454
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DJ by Art Spiegelman. Remainder slash on top edge. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory #

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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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Bibliographic Details

Title: Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies
Publisher: Metropolitan
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Cloth
Book Condition: Almost Fine
Edition: First Edition

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Book Description Book Condition: Good. [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: first ] Ex-library book Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Pub Date: 6/1/1996 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 290 first edition. Bookseller Inventory # 2060482

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Book Description Henry Holt & Company, LLC, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1996. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Near Fine. First Paperback Edition. Bookseller Inventory # G24017

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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. In the paperback edition. This is the paperback edition. Reliable paperback edition. Slight tanning to the covers. Some shelf wear and edge wear to the covers. A bit of scuff to the page edge. Tight binging! The pages flow clearly from beginning to end. Worthwhile. Bookseller Inventory # JimPB0218110087

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