Some time in the late 90s artist and musician Tomb (aka Jackson Phibes) mentioned the comic artist and writer Richard Sala in a e-mail. I of course had to look up his work, as anything that Tomb was talking about had to be worth checking out. Sala's most current work at the time was today's Friday Forgotten Book The Chucklin' Whatsit?.
Broom, hack writer turned detective by
necessity, is having a heck of a time figuring out why astrology
columnists are turning up dead, seemingly at the hand of the Gull
Street Ghoul, a killer from the city's past. The solution to the crimes
involves a strange organization named G.A.S.H., a shadowy masked man
named Mister Ixnay, and tiny outsider-art dolls called "whatsits."
What I like about the book is that it mixes the feel of outsider culture, pulp story telling and the comics medium with just the right twist. Sala has said that he is inspired by time spent in his grandfathers antique shop. The look of Sala's art has a Edward Gorey via The Hernandez Brothers look. I also like the fact that his characters are often dumb, short sighted or just make mistakes. I have become a fan of Sala's work in general, and look forward to each and every one of his new projects.