World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success, there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger's hometown in remote New Zealand. One of the best graphic novels of the past decade.
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HicksvilleUser Review - Book Verdict
Researching a biography of Dick Burger, the world's most successful comics creator, Leonard Batts visits Burger's hometown, tiny Hicksville, New Zealand. He finds a community where everyone is a comics expert—and the library circulates original copies of Action Comics #1—but Burger is persona non grata. Only unemployed cartoonist Sam, Burger's childhood friend, shares information, but even he won't explain what Burger did to earn the town's censure. This reissue of a modern classic, originally published in 1998 and nominated for a Harvey Award, features a new introduction in comics form by Horrocks. VERDICT Referencing figures from Rodolphe Töpffer to Todd McFarlane, Horrocks displays a deep knowledge of comics history and a commitment to the art form's power, but also sadness at how comics creators (and characters) have been treated in the name of commercial interest. The moving stories of Sam and also Grace, a Hicksville expatriate returning to pick up the threads of a complicated life, provide indie credibility, but the book's focus on comics (superhero comics in particular) will appeal to some who would normally shun indie work.—S.R.