- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Fantagraphics; Reprint edition (May 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1606993089
- ISBN-13: 978-1606993088
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
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Ever wonder how to cut your own hair? Need to boot a fly off your snoot? Want to know how to chomp food without being rude? How to snore without being a bore? Wolverton tackled those and many other tricky topics in the half-page filler strip Culture Corner in Whiz Comics (Captain Marvel's stomping ground), 1944–52. In the feature, Croucher K. Conk, Q.O.C. (Queer Old Coot), presented convoluted solutions to problems one might well have been unaware that one had at all. The resultant brief comics gems encapsulate the approach Wolverton took in his better-known humor strips, such as Powerhouse Pepper, in which gloriously goofy drawings of impossibly elastic figures with wildly exaggerated features complement rhymed or alliterative wordplay. This volume collects all 60-odd (very odd) Culture Corner installments, most of them accompanied by preliminary pencil rough sketches as well as some three-dozen additional roughs that never made it to the finished stage. Wolverton's daffy drawings and giddy text are as fancifully balmy as his advice is patently impractical. --Gordon Flagg
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Top Customer Reviews
My dad, who read all this stuff as a kid, unwisely didn't keep these books, save for a couple things like "Daisy Handbook" (1948), which had a couple of "Culture Corner" reprints. As a kid, I thought these were the funniest things ever and wanted more, but more were not to come, until now.
Wolverton is probably best known for his creepy-looking but somehow appealing drawings of hideous-looking women. The best places to see his work are in "Li'l Abner" as the winner of the "Lena the Hyena" contest, the cover of "Mad" #11 and its interiors, the interiors of "Mad" #17, and various covers of "Plop!".
The book is great because not only does it reprint all of the existing strips, it reprints the roughs that Wolverton did and a number of strips that were for whatever reason, not inked or published, and only exist in rough form. Wolverton's roughs are almost as good as they were virtually fully realized strips, not notes or stick figures.
And Monte Wolverton is great as he kept all of this stuff. Granted, he is an artist himself, but you know how things go, people toss all sorts of "worthless" stuff out.
Anyway, it's a great book from Fantagraphics, and at $22.99 far cheaper that obtaining about 100 issues of "Whiz Comics" and $300-400 a pop.