Wally Gropius

REVIEWS FOR THIS BOOK

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65

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

June 2010

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“One of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Hilarious and utterly unique, Wally Gropius is a work of unassuming genius that rewards on ever-deepening levels with each rereading.” – Daniel Clowes

Superficially resembling 1960s teenage humor comics, Tim Hensley’s graphic novel
Wally Gropius is actually an acute satire of power, celebrityhood, and modern culture that tells the story of the titular character, who bears a closer resemblance to a teenaged Richie Rich or a classmate of Archie Andrews at Riverdale High than he does the famous Bauhaus architect whose name he shares.

Wally is the human Dow Jones, the heir to a vast petrochemical conglomerate. When the elder Thaddeus Gropius confronts Wally with the boilerplate plot ultimatum that he must marry “the saddest girl in the world” or be disinherited, a yarn unravels that is part screwball comedy and part unhinged parable on the lucrativeness of changing your identity.

Hensley’s dialogue is witty, lyrical, sampled, dada, and elliptical – all in the service of a very bizarre mystery. There’s sex, violence, rock and roll, intrigue, and betrayal — all brought home in Hensley’s truly inimitable style. Created during an era when another well-off “W” was stuffing the coffers of the morbidly solvent,
Wally Gropius transforms futile daydreams and nightmares into the absurdity of capital.

Originally serialized in Fantagraphics’ house anthology
Mome, the story is presented here with additional, previously unseen material.

• Ranked #1 on
New York Magazine's Top Ten Comics of 2010

• Named "my favorite graphic novel of the year" by Dan Nadel (Picturebox) at
The Economist

• Named to several other "Best of 2010" lists including
Comic Book Resources, Robot 6, Rob Clough's Top 50 Books of 2010 at High-Low, Blog Flume, comiXology and Robot 6's creators' survey

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REVIEWS

Comic Book Resources

•Comics website

“Both an affectionate paean to the Archie/Harvey/Dell comics of yesteryear and a blistering critique of them. It has contains disturbing imagery and themes that will shock the unexpectant reader, but is also utterly silly, joyfully so at times. … Hensley manages to create something rather unique and deeply rewarding in Wally Gropius. This is a comic that rewards multiple readings and contemplation.” – Chris Mautner

Drawn & Quarterly

•Publisher blog

“A clever, absurd, funny and offputting work that evokes 1950s teenage humor comics with a twist (make that a bunch of twists actually). … Wally Gropius is a book you'll come back to often, in hopes of getting it more and more each time.” –

High-Low

•Comics blog

“There are any number of ways to read this comic and any number of its attributes to focus in on … Hensley accomplishes all of this with an aesthetic that is simultaneously familiar & strange, light-hearted but densely packed with information, and that delivers plenty of surface delights but also carries multiple meanings. Hensley's work is like no other cartoonist working today.” – Rob Clough