'Long Story Short'
By: Mr. Fish and Friends - Akashic Books, $15.95
Description: The Catcher in the Rye. Lolita. Moby-Dick. Infinite Jest. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. A Room of One’s Own. Native Son.
These are but a handful of classic works spectacularly distilled by Mr. Fish and a very talented group of painters, illustrators, graphic designers, and political cartoonists into succinct snapshots that are at times funny, sad, inspiring, rude, crude, beautiful, profound, stomach-turning, and mind-blowing.
Verdict: Inclusive of original artwork from: Mr. Fish, Ted Rall, Stephanie McMillan, Sarah Awad, Eli Valley, Wes Tyrell, Tamara Knoss, Keith Henry Brown, Sam Henderson, Lodi Marasescu, Surag Ramachandran, Tami Knight, Eric J. Garcia, Marissa Dougherty, Siri Dokken, John G., Andy Singer, Tara Seibel, Gary Dumm, Clare Kolat, Nate Ulsh, Benjamin Slyngstad, Ron Hill, JP Trostle, John Kovaleski, and Beth McCaskey, 'Long Story Short: Turning Famous Books into Cartoons' is, quite easily, one of the most fascinating books I have had the pleasure to "flip through" in the past decade or more!
For those not in the know, and so taking it from the top, Dwayne Booth (Mr. Fish) is a cartoonist and freelance writer whose work can most regularly be seen on Harpers.org and Truthdig.com.
Indeed, he has been a cartoonist and freelance writer for twenty years, publishing under both his own name and the penname of Mr. Fish with many of the nation’s most reputable and prestigious magazines, journals and newspapers.
He has also published with Information for Social Change (British journal), Internazionale (Italian magazine) and Umanita Nova (Italian newspaper).
He was recently the subject of a two-page spread in the Sunday edition of the leading daily independent Croatian newspaper, Novi list, where he was described as Croatia’s favorite American cartoonist.
For those of you expecting a quaint, un-feather ruffling picture book of politically incorrect satirical cartoons to review, trust me when I say that instead what you will be presented with is an over spilling amount of pure, unadulterated, thought-provoking, confusion-abounding, deeply disturbing at times, and yet magnificently unearthed artistic decadence from one very talented journalist, cartoonist, and satirist.
Others have said that "Mr. Fish’s ingenious collection of cartoon distillations of famous books shows why print editors so fear the art form," and you really cannot argue with that at all.
Furthermore, these crisply sardonic drawings by Mr. Fish and his artist collaborators really are worth the time invested in them - not only the price of the book, but your own time spent reading them (over and over and over again!).
About the Author: MR. FISH lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Occasionally, he laughs his head off. His mother has no idea what he's up to. She cries easily. For more information, date him!
Table of Contents:
Introduction - The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, illustrated by Tamara Knoss; Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov; Native Son, by Richard Wright, illustrated by Keith Henry Brown; Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, illustrated by Eli Valley; The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe, illustrated by Wes Tyrell; The New Testament, by Paul the Apostle; Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut; Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville; The Rings of Saturn, by W. G. Sebald, illustrated by Sarah Awad; Hamlet, by William Shakespeare; The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Sam Henderson; The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka; The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, illustrated by Ted Rall; Roget’s Thesaurus, by Peter Mark Roget, illustrated by Lodi Marasescu; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Surag Ramachandran; Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, illustrated by Stephanie McMillan; “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Horace Smith, illustrated by Tami Knight; How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie; I am JoaquÍn / Yo soy Joaquín, by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, illustrated by Eric J. Garcia; The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell, illustrated by Marissa Dougherty; A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking; Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley;
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain; One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez, illustrated by Siri Dokken; Understanding Media, by Marshall McLuhan; Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, illustrated by John G.; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, illustrated by Andy Singer; Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare; Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes; Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling; Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, illustrated by Tara Seibel;
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, illustrated by Gary Dumm; A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn; The Stranger, by Albert Camus; A Boy’s Own Story, by Edmund White; A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole; Animal Farm, by George Orwell, illustrated by Clare Kolat; Paradise Lost, by John Milton; Howl, by Allen Ginsberg
Metamorphoses (Pygmalion), by Ovid; The Man Who Died, by D. H. Lawrence; Tales of Ordinary Madness, by Charles Bukowski, illustrated by Nate Ulsh; Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles; Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, illustrated by Benjamin Slyngstad; Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Civilization and its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud; 1984, by George Orwell; Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace; The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, illustrated by Ron Hill; The Armies of the Night, by Norman Mailer; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou; Notes from Underground, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank; The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien, illustrated by J. P. Trostle; On Narcissism, by Sigmund Freud; A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf; The War Prayer, by Mark Twain; On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin; The Invisible Man, by H. G. Wells, illustrated by John Kovaleski; American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis; Why I am Not A Christian, by Bertrand Russell; On the Road, by Jack Kerouac; Fear of Flying, by Erica Jong, illustrated by Beth McCaskey; Wikipedia, by Everybody; and, finally, War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.
Official Book Purchase Link