Dugan Under Ground by Tom De Haven
A Novel

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Synopsis

In This Issue: Sex! Drugs! Kosmic Trooths! And a Comic Book Rebel Named Looby!

In his earlier novels, Funny Papers and Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, Tom De Haven embarked on a dazzling tour of twentieth-century America, revealed through the world of the comic strips and their creators. Now in Dugan Under Ground, he transports us to explosive underground comics scene of the sixties.

It's 1967, the Summer of Love. Roy Looby, a gifted young cartoonist, deserts his mentor, the legendary strip man Ed Biggs, and heads to join the drop-outs and musicians in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury. In the reckless spirit of the times, Looby creates "The Imp Eugene," a libidinous comic book character who is a far cry from Biggs' signature figure, Derby Dugan--the cheerful icon of a more optimistic generation. Just like his real-world counterpart, hippie cartoonist R. Crumb, Looby is soon celebrated and vilified for his creation. And then he disappears, rumored to have lost his mind during the drug-fueled creation of a cartoon masterpiece.

A fabulous, strange trip across a wildly changing America, Dugan Under Ground is a rich, inventive tale about the suffocations of jealousy, the regrets that kill the spirit, and the mythic qualities of American popular culture.
 

About Tom De Haven

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Tom De Haven is the author of several novels, including Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies (winner of the 1997 American Book Award) and Funny Papers. A frequent contributor to Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times, he also teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives in Midlothian, Virginia.
 
Published October 11, 2001 by Metropolitan Books. 320 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But, as Al recalls it here, those were dangerous days as well: When his boss's inexplicable illness raises fears of a plot by a rival, Al is drawn into the unsettling lives of such broadly drawn individuals as lunchroom owner Jimmie Rodgers, who says everything twice, Jimmie's beauteous (and perh...

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The enigmatic life of a renegade cartoonist is and isn’t revealed by the testimony of those who knew, loved, and hated him: a fascinating, frustrating partial sequel to De Haven’s Funny Papers (1985) and Derby Dugan’s Depression Funnies (1996).

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Publishers Weekly

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His constantly feuding collaborator, prolific hack writer Al Bready, suspects that a disgruntled former partner, who went to jail for poisoning Walter in 1934, may somehow be involved.

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Publishers Weekly

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Candy Biggs, his current artist (who only received Dugan after being stabbed in the chest with a pencil by his previous creator), drinks his way through Dugan's decline, watching his beloved comic strip vanish from one newspaper after another.

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