Bob Levin, author of The Pirates & the Mouse, explores the by-ways and back roads of creative genius in as off-beat a collection of characters as are likely to be found outside a carnival midway. Serious, dedicated, often driven by the hounds of Hell, these artists pursue often off-putting, always fascinating visions without regard to popular acclaim or financial reward. Essay subjects include: Chester Brown, S. Clay Wilson, Dori Seda, B.N. Duncan, Justin Green, Maxon Crumb, Crockett Johnson, Roy Lichtenstein, Graham Ingels, Jack Katz, Rory Hayes and more. Levin's profile/essay style is a unique blend of pooched journalism, quasi-autobiography, faux cultural history, and semi-scholarship, and the perfect vehicle by which to engage these beyond-the-box personalities. And from these engagements he fashions powerful arguments for the value of unfettered expression, no matter from how far outside the mainstream it may issue.
"Popular culture, Levin reminds us, is always political and therefore always ripe with ideological suggestion." – The Orange County Weekly