Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
by Mark Alan Stamaty, with an introduction by Jules Feiffer
Every week, from 1978–1979, The Village Voice brought a new installment of Mark Alan Stamaty’s uproarious, endlessly inventive strip MacDoodle St. Centering more or less on Malcolm Frazzle, a blocked poet struggling to complete his latest lyric for Dishwasher Monthly, Stamaty’s creation encompassed a dizzying array of characters, stories, jokes, and digressions. One week might feature the ongoing battle between irate businessmen and bearded beatniks for control of a Greenwich Village coffee shop, the next a dastardly plot
involving genetically engineered monkeys, or the mysterious visions of a duffle-coated soothsayer on a bus, or even the variable moods and longings of the comic strip itself. . .
And somehow, in the end, it all fits together. MacDoodle St. is more than just a hilarious weekly strip; it is a great comic novel, a thrilling, surprising, unexpectedly moving ode to art, life, and New York City.
This new edition features a brand-new, twenty-page autobiographical comic by Stamaty explaining what happened next and why MacDoodle St. never returned: a unique, funny, and poignant look at the struggles and joys of being an artist.
The hilarious narrative incorporates a talking baseball card, a cow spirit guide, and a cell of angry Wayne Newton fans. Stamaty’s strips are filled with surreal transformations, inventive page design, prolific decoration, and marginal commentary, frequently digressing and addressing its own plot, creation, and readers’ expectations. In a new "Addendum" in comic form, Stamaty explains the circumstances around the strip’s end and his subsequent artistic rejuvenation. Readers looking for an extremely funny metacomic will enjoy this work immensely, as will those wanting a taste of 1970s New York City. The addendum is a fascinating, personal portrait of the life of a creative artist.
Stamaty treats the strip like a canvas, filling it with layers of meticulous detail; tight, clean lines; playful self-awareness; and monkeys washing dishes….Though Stamaty's words are sly and kinetic, one can't help wanting more of his stupendous illustrations, somewhere between R. Crumb and Hergé. Mostly superb with bouts of just excellent.
I have never read a comic strip that was this much alive. Stamaty comes at the reader in so many directions at once. It’s as if a classic adventure strip was fending off a Dada invasion while the battlefield (comics’ formal conventions) does somersaults as an ever-changing cast of broadcasters comment on the action.... It’s a funny and thrilling spectacle that has more than a whiff of danger.