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Where Demented Wented: The Art & Comics of Rory Hayes

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I’ve posted briefly about Rory Hayes and the Mark Beyer connection before. I recently got ‘Where Demented Wented: The Art & Comics of Rory Hayes‘ from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham.

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This is a real insight into Hayes’ work. It isn’t a simple collection of Hayes’ art & comics, but includes articles and interviews that open up your understanding of an artist whose work is largely disturbing and unappealing. It seems that while many of his contemporaries were producing work that rebelled against the comics code or explored taboos, Hayes’ early work embraced the comics that sparked the code and produced comics that emulated the storytelling conventions of the pre-code EC Horror comics such as Bogeyman Comics, sadly not reprinted in their entirety in this book.

The book also features a strip about Hayes by Bill Griffith (of Zippy fame). Griffith had this to say about Hayes;

Rory Hayes was the real thing; a genuine ‘outsider’ artist working alongside his more self-aware compatriots in the heady days of the San Francisco Underground Comix scene of the 1960s and ’70s. His work retains its raw, primitive power to this day, teetering precariously between chaos and control, madness and oddly endearing teddy bears.

Hayes has what you might generously call ‘limited appeal’ to the general public. You have been warned – these stories aren’t for everyone.

An introduction and 19-page excerpt are available from the Fantagraphics site.

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Written by The Department of Illustration

September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

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