Michael Kupperman -- the cartoonist who brought you the delightfully bizarre Tales Designed to Thrizzle and its brief Adult Swim spin-off Snake 'n Bacon -- recently published his latest book with Fantagraphics: Mark Twain's Autobiography (1910-2010). While most historians had previously believed Twain had passed away in 1910, Kupperman reveals that the famous author and curmudgeonly humorist was actually revived shortly after his death by a wizard's spell and went on to have numerous adventures as an astronaut, hobo, porn star, and many more totally real stories detailed in the manuscript that he passed along to Kupperman for illustration.
Kupperman is currently on a "Twain in the Membrane" book tour (details at the bottom of the post) and he described his initial meeting with Twain in a recent promotional e-mail:
"Here Mister Kupperman," he said, thrusting a manuscript into my hands. "Publish this, and let the world read of my adventures."
My name is MarkTwain, and I write these words to you in the good old days of August 2010. "What's that," you say? "Didn't you die a hundred years ago, you old coot?... The truth is I never died, but the same old rumors got exaggerated and then a bunch of other stuff happened, so people forgot I was still alive.
And with that preface, the celebrated man of letters -thought to be dead for a hundred years but actually surviving due to a wizard's spell- returns with a sequel to his best-selling autography, aided and abetted by humorist and cartoonist Michael Kupperman. From WWI to the Great Depression, WWII to Woodstock, and through the present, Twain details his careers as an ad man, astronaut, hypnotist, Yeti hunter, porn star, drifter, grifter and more, rubbing shoulders and having never-before-told adventures with many major figures of the 20th Century.
Kupperman's blog also includes excerpts from other chapters, such as Twain's epic battle with a Yeti:
"Come out here and face me, you snow-covered coward!" I shouted at the snowy waste. The place was Tibet, and the year was 1925... fifteen years since my supposed death. This time my death had been exaggerated out of all proportion, with some newspapers claiming I had been exploded by 10,000 kegs of dynamite while straining stallions tore me in all four directions and a tribe of Indians blew poison darts. Well, none of that had happened. I had decided to take a little time out, that's all. Right around 1913 I got involved with a bunch of fellows in a business venture involving decommissioned submarines- we decided to sponsor colorful submarine races across the aquatic waterways of Europe.
There is a 21-page preview at Fantagraphics, and we've also got seven preview pages of our own for your viewing pleasure:
Tour dates and locations for Michael Kupperman's "Twain in the Membrane" book tour:
Wednesday, Sept. 21st, 7:30PM
163 Court St., Brooklyn
Reading and signing with Ben Katchor
Saturday, Oct. 1st, 7:30PM
Mark Twain House
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT
Reading and signing
Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 8PM
622 Degraw St., Brooklyn
Twain in the Membrane Comedy Party
Live comedy & cartoons! Twain costume and frog-humping contests! General absurdity! Featuring Michael Kupperman, David Rees, Julie Klausner, Jon Glaser, Kate Beaton, Max Silvestri, Emily Flake and others!
Thursday, Oct. 13th, 7PM
540 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn
Book and Print release party/signing
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