The Set-Up

artist: Erik Kriek
series: The Set-Up
publisher: Korero
publish date:
language: English
coloring: full color
Hard Cover

Written in 1928, The Set-Up is a long narrative poem about the US boxing underworld – a hard-boiled tragedy told in syncopated rhyming couplets. When the work was first published it made The Times bestseller list, and in 1949 it was turned into an award-winning film featuring Robert Ryan and Audrey Totter.

This reprinting of the original, unchanged 1928 poem features dynamic, specially commissioned artwork by Eric Kriek that vividly conveys the story of Pansy, an up-and-coming black prize fighter who takes on all comers. When he was in the ring, “It was over before you knew it. He'd carve you up like a leg of mutton. And drop you flat with a sock on the button.” Pansy’s complicated love life leads to a spell in prison and his career subsequently takes a nosedive; but he continues to box until the fateful night his fight managers and opponent triple-cross him and he meets a grisly end at the hands of a vengeful gang.

About the author:
Joseph Moncure March (1899–1977) was the first managing editor of The New Yorker, and helped create the magazine’s Talk of the Town front section. After leaving the magazine, March wrote the first of his two important Jazz Age narrative poems, The Wild Party. In 1928 he followed it with The Set-Up. Moving to Hollywood in 1929 he became the scriptwriter who turned the silent version of Howard Hughes’ classic Hell’s Angels into a talkie – a rewrite that brought the phrase “Excuse me while I put on something more comfortable" into the American lexicon. A screenwriter in Hollywood until 1940, March eventually became a writer of documentaries for the US State Department and a feature writer for The New York Times Magazine.

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