“Combining more than six hundred rare cartoons, comics and photographs with deeply researched and insightful text, comics historian Paul C. Tumey builds the case for the genre of Screwballism, convincingly illustrating why names like Frederick Burr Opper or Boody Rogers should be at least as familiar to Americans as Charlie Chaplin or Mel Brooks. Better yet, he curates examples of the cartoonists’ work–much of which is previously unpublished since first appearing in newspapers–that make the case for themselves.” —Michael Tisserand, author of KRAZY: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White.
“Comics have always been a disposable art form. They were thrown out with the newspaper, and children read them and re-read them until they fell apart. With Screwball!, Tumey is snatching these treasures from the scrap heap and presenting them to audiences a century or so later…. He’s excavating more than just a nostalgia trip: he’s pointing to a lost form of communication — one that can inform a whole new generation of artists.” —The Seattle Review of Books
“A masterpiece…I teach a university class about graphic narration and know a lot about the history of comic strips, yet I cannot tell you how much I have learned from Tumey’s book. The book is painstakingly and thoroughly researched, yet Tumey does not allow the depth of the research to overshadow the clarity of his narratives. He tells the story of each cartoonist, and he tells those stories beautifully. Anyone who is a cartoon and/or comic strip collector, researcher, or historian needs to own this book.”
“Indispensable to anyone wanting to learn about American humor in the 20th century.” —The Comics Journal
“Mr. Tumey’s encyclopedic knowledge, artistic eye and deft writing hand brings the history of screwball comics magically to life. The proponents may have been eccentric by nature, but they helped enrich the newspaper funnies in a way that few others would have truly been able to do.” –The Washington Times