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The Louche and Insalubrious Escapades of Art D’Ecco

Roger Langridge

In the late 1980s, long before his work on the Eisner and Harvey-nominated Fred the Clown, Roger Langridge worked with his brother Andrew on a comic called Art D’Ecco. At the core of Art D’Ecco is the dysfunctional relationship between Art and his idiot sidekick (and embryonic Fred the Clown prototype), the Gump.

 

They are in fact a classic double-act, Art's offhanded sadism and the Gump's cheerful obliviousness bringing to mind Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or even Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie. Added to the mix is the surreal and manic presence of Art's negative twin, Art Nouveau, dragging an air of bewildering unpredictability in his wake.

 

The stories casually use issues such as censorship, religious fundamentalism and even Marxist theories of capitalism as a skeleton around which to build a relentless series of verbal and visual gags, laced liberally with postmodernist winks and nudges.

 

The overall effect is something like a rollercoaster ride with an Oxford Don after a particularly good cocktail party. Also in this volume is a selection of newly produced material, marking Andrew Langridge's first new comics work in over a decade, and some rarely-seen early stories never before published in the USA.

 

Fantagraphics, paperback, 160 pages, published August 2006

G9240

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