Thursday, May 01, 2008

We All Die Alone


Just ran across this terrific retrospective collection of jokes and cartoons by my hero Mark Newgarden at the library: We All Die Alone (Fantagraphic Books, 2006). For me, Newgarden's career was highlighted by his tenure at Topps creating "disposable novelty crap" like Garbage Pail Kids, Toxic High and The Barfo Family. Thanks to Atomic Books, I have the complete Toxic High card set and an entire Barfo Family display box set (I know: go me), which remain Western Civilization's zenith in terms of kitsch achievement. Toxic High took National Lampoon's High School Yearbook parody to the next level of outrageous political incorrectness while The Barfo Family looked like they were designed by the spudboys in Devo. Newgarden famously described them as combining "what every kid loves most: sugar and vomiting."

Giving the kids what they crave: Sugar and Vomiting

Newgarden went to NYC's School of Visual Arts with fellow underground artists Kaz and Drew Friedman - and it shows. I also see a connection with the retro sensibilities of Chris Ware ("Acme Novelty Library") and Seth, as well as the outre shock humor of Ivan Brunetti. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Society of Illustrators, and the ICA in London. He also wrote and directed four episodes of the B. Happy Web Premiere Toon cartoon series for and has established his own award winning studio, Laffpix Inc.

Run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore to buy this essential read!

More on Mark Newgarden:
Laffpix (Mark Newgarden's Website)


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