Praise for Michael Kupperman

“It has become cliché to say I laughed until I cried, but when I’m done reading one of [Kupperman’s] underground comics my shirt is literally soaking wet. This guy may have one of the best comedy brains on the planet right now.” —Conan O’Brien

“It’s no secret why Michael Kupperman is a favorite of Robert Smigel and Conan O’Brien — he’s one of the most weirdly funny writers around.” —New York Magazine

“Kupperman is hysterical. And a real original.” —Robert Smigel

“Kupperman’s droll absurdism is matched by a stiff, woodcut-like art style that underplays the sometimes outré concepts. A comedy diamond.” —Heidi MacDonald in Publishers Weekly

“Michael Kupperman is the funniest cartoonist alive.” —The Stranger

“Kupperman’s humor — a mix of genre, nonsequitur and nonsense — is a kind of laughter in the void, wonderfully lucid and slightly sickening... That Kupperman so masterfully plays to and upsets expectation makes [his work] that much funnier and finer.” —Art in America

"Buy everything Michael Kupperman's ever done. Not only is he hysterical, he's a major influence on my comedy." —Graham Linehan

Praise for Tales Designed to Thrizzle, Volume 1

"The blandly didactic sobriety of old educational comics and earnest advertisements, on the other hand, is Michael Kupper­man’s default tone for the deranged, gaspingly funny work collected in TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE: Volume One (Fantagraphics, $24.99). Kupperman has a stiff, deadpan drawing style that suggests the textures of woodcuts, clip-art and old “Mary Worth” strips; his writing, on the other hand, jumps the rails at every opportunity. A boilerplate informational cartoon about Christmas and Easter abruptly changes into a screed about Jesus’ wicked half-brother Pagus (“Yes! Yes! Decorate that tree! Wonderful! Ha ha ha ha ha!”), Mark Twain and Albert Einstein solve mysteries as a pair of brutal cops, and a bar graph at the end of a series of images called “A Look Into the Near Future” is captioned “We have no idea what this graph means, because the person who made it was found this morning . . . murdered!”" —Douglas Wolk in The New York Times

“The first four issues of Michael Kupperman's awesome comedy comics zine Tales Designed to Thrizzle have been collected into a single hardcover volume that is a superdense wad of funny, surreal, bent humor... This is weird, funny, Subgenius-esque toilet reading that will keep you very regular.” —Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing

"For years, Michael Kupperman’s Fantagraphics series Tales Designed to Thrizzle has obliterated the funnybones of comic readers with its surrealist humor and absurd characters…If you’ve missed any issues of Kupperman’s sublime, logic-defying humor comics, this is your chance to catch up…now vividly colored for hands-down the funniest and arguably most re-readable hardcover collection of the summer." —Kyle Phegley in Wizard

“That Kupperman so masterfully plays to and upsets expectation makes Thrizzle that much funnier and finer. With stunts such as a Twain & Einstein crime-fighting partnership, Kupperman is all goofball, all the time. But Kupperman's line, even in shaping locomotive-sized garden snails, is weighty. And the weight of five years of Thrizzle, is, well, as formidable as a locomotive-sized garden snail.” —John Reed in Art in America

"Starred Review. Picasso's life narrated by a hamburger; pubic hair stencils for men; Bambiffpow Jackson, there's a fistfight in my very name!—and that's just part of the first five pages of this hilarious collection of humorous comics and illustrations. Kupperman has been laffing it up for years via cartoons in the New Yorker and animation on Saturday Night Live, but his smart, droll, absurdist humor is best displayed in this compendium of the first four issues of the comic of the same name. Kupperman's wit and imagination is only heightened by the stiff, self-conscious woodcut style he often uses for art, although it sometimes bursts out in a blobbier style for such things as the kid-friendly Fireman Octopus. Some stories and characters recur, such as the buddy-cop duo Snake n' Bacon, a snake and a strip of bacon who solve crimes while repeating the same lines, and other characters throw themselves into disaster. The gags pile upon the gags—mock classified ads for Sausage Lad—Yo, Bitch! You look hungry for sausage!—rammed on the same page as a '70s cop-show parody starring Albert Einstein and Mark Twain. The humor never lags in a book that is destined to be a comedy classic and is truly one of the funniest books in years. This hardcover edition adds color and an intro by Robert Smigel to the original comics." —Publishers Weekly

“The funniest comic you've never read. Laugh out loud funny. Spastic, bizarre and gut busting. Fans of Saturday Night LiveMad Magazine and just anyone who likes to laugh will love this book. A fair warning, if you read this book in public, you will laugh like a mad man and most likely frighten people like I did.” —Dave Scheidt on The Huffington Post

 "I am buying all my friends Tales Designed To Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman for Christmas this year! Funniest book in my house." Jonathan Ross on Twitter

Praise for Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

"This is hugely imaginative, exultantly silly, gag-a-minute writing that manages to comment on the popular culture of the last century while willfully wallowing in it — Python with a wry dose of Pynchon." —Glen Weldon on

"Hey pals, Michael Kupperman's Mark Twain book is the funniest piece of writing I've read this year." —Peter Serafinowicz on Twitter

"This does feel somewhat like cheating, since there’s only a few sequences of proper graphic work here, but why quibble about format: Mark Twain’s Autobiography: 1910 – 2010 is, quite simply, one of the funniest things you’ll read in any genre. Kupperman has a child’s free-ranging imagination and an aging intellectual’s dry wit, able to ridiculously skewer everything from children’s entertainers to cold war paranoia, often without leaving the same paragraph. This supposed telling of Mark Twain’s 20th-century life — the rumours of his death have been greatly exaggerated, and he’s kept alive via a wizard’s spell — would be an awe-inspiring work of imagination if it wasn’t so absurdly hilarious. Somewhere between John Hodgman and Graham Roumieu, Kupperman has found stark comic brilliance." —David Berry writing about "The Best Graphic Novels of 2011" in The National Post

"Though not strictly a comic book, Michael Kupperman’s Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 (Fantagraphics) is very much of a piece with the cartoonist’s gleefully absurdist Tales Designed To Thrizzle series. Working mostly in prose this time (with full-page illustrations and the occasional short comics interlude), Kupperman picks up the story of an American icon beginning with what the newspapers reported as Mark Twain’s “death.” Kupperman’s Twain quickly sets the record straight, then relates what he’s been up to for the past century: fighting in World War I, losing a fortune by investing in chocolate-covered olives, making gangster pictures inspired by The Wizard Of Oz… y’know, the usual. Kupperman’s working method seems to be just to let his mind wander, making stream-of-consciousness associations that fuse into comedy. “What if Mark Twain were a hobo?” Kupperman wonders, and soon one of our greatest writers is riding the rails, alongside Robert “Less Taken Road Takin’ Bob” Frost, Wallace “Even” Stevens, and e.e. “bumming” cummings.…" —Noel Murray in The Onion AV Club

"The Bard from Hannibal lives. Or at least he does in the hilarious mind of the cartoonist Michael Kupperman.

Kupperman’s sidesplitting Mark Twain’s Autobiography: 1910–2010 imagines the life of the Huck Finn writer after he tired of the solitary writer’s life. So, what’s a famous novelist to do? Fake his death—thanks to a “misunderstanding involving some rubbing alcohol and a drunken coroner”—and travel the world in search of adventure, of course. (How’d he stay alive for 100 more years? A wizard’s spell. Duh.)

Every chapter serves as a standalone narrative, each with a handful of guffaw-worthy lines. Twain stops in Italy, posing as “Michelangelo Buonatestes, the ‘shoutiest man in Naples.’” He opens a private detective’s agency with his brother from another mother, Albert Einstein. He meets a seductress named Princess Loona of the Moon People. During the Great Depression, he loses all his money on a failed investment in Chocolives (“the premium chocolate-covered olive!”). These things, they are very funny.

Kupperman’s brilliance isn’t just in his humor, though. Mark Twain’s Autobiographyis meant to be read in small doses, no more than half a dozen pages at a time. Trust me: You don’t want to gorge on a book that’s this weirdly amusing. But after a peek into Kupperman’s hysterically twisted mind, you’ll keep wanting to go back for more." —Chris Heller writing about "The Best Book I Read This Year" in The Atlantic

Praise for Tales Designed to Thrizzle, Volume 2

"No exaggeration: I coughed hot soup out of my nose while reading the new hardbound volume of deadpan dadaist Michael Kupperman’s Tales Designed to Thrizzle. The strip that did it was one of the book’s last, an alt-historical fantasia on the first moon landing, narrated in the drily factual manner of educational filmstrips no matter how deep the ridiculousness piles. The mission is conceived by Nixon to win over hippies; the crew is at first made up of condemned criminals until the press asks if the moon will become “another Australia”; Woodward and Bernstein attempt to sneak on board disguised as an ant and an owl; Nixon attempts to murder Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong with exploding sandwiches; TV’s Columbo is dispatched to the moon to investigate another murder but instead becomes a werewolf; the pope condemns the entire enterprise after the mad Russian inventor who won NASA’s contest to design a rocket announces he only did it because his wife said she’d blow him the day a man walked on the moon.

Kupperman heaps absurdity upon absurdity, each joke reacting to the one just before it, but hardly ever having much to do with the ones before that. The result is a jubilant rococo, the strips all thrilling ornamentation. In his pages, the voices of old-school media authority—narrators, historians, Cronkite—are forever tasked with recounting the senseless juxtapositions of channel flipping, mash-up logic, and unbounded appropriation. A kid in one strip encounters Mark Twain and Albert Einstein, who in Kupperman Kountry are the look-a-like stars of a series of ’50s adventure comics; he guesses that the shaggy duo are actually Colonel Sanders and Sam Elliott —and why couldn’t they be? After encouraging him to visit his local library,Twain and Einstein then attempt to choke each other until they’re just barely dead so that their ghosts may peep into a YWCA shower room. Here our iconic yet impersonal idea of historical figures collides with the blandly inspiring use of those figures in Weekly Readers and spiritless textbooks—and then all that wallops into terrible ghost stories and horny college buddy comedies. Here’s a century-plus of American pop culture crammed into one mad bouillon cube of a comic. The drawing’s ace, too." —Alan Scherstuhl in The Village Voice

"Even Michael Kupperman devotees who’ve picked up every issue of the cartoonist’s Tales Designed To Thrizzle comics will need to pony up again for the Tales Designed To Thrizzle Vol. 2 hardcover collection, in part because the collected edition adds comics that didn’t appear in the original issues, and in part because the only thing better than pamphlet-sized Thrizzle is book-length Thrizzle. Kupperman’s work only gets funnier when read in bulk, which allows the rare clunker gags to get absorbed into page after page of stories about a crime-fighting Mark Twain (with his partner Albert Einstein!), Cowboy Oscar Wilde (“Ignorance is like a delicate flower, podner”), and The Hamanimal (a superhero with the head of a canned ham and the body of whatever animal he chooses). Kupperman’s comics take pre-existing popular culture—TV shows, advertising, other comics—and tweak them just a little until they become hilariously absurd. Read 170-odd pages of them in one sitting, and afterward even straight entertainment starts to look ridiculous…" —Noel Murray in The Onion AV Club

“Some say the bathtub was invented in hell by the Devil himself! Others believe that it represents a subconscious desire of man to submerge himself in his own excrement.” Welcome to “Scary Bathtub Stories” just one of the multiple worlds within this sidesplitting second collection of Kupperman’s droll and imaginative satirical comics. While perhaps a teeny bit less revelatory than the first volume, there’s plenty of fun, as with “Saint Peter Comics”—he teams up with Quincy, M.E.—or the ongoing adventures of Mark Twain and Albert Einstein, drawn to look nearly identical, who venture into space only to have to fight pesky ghosts in their spaceship. Meet Jungle Princess, who must rescue her fashion magazine Big City Fashion from the wiles of Tigerboss before succumbing to the Senior Citizen, who fills its pages with unhip ads for insurance. Kupperman deploys a stunning arsenal of art styles to bring home the laughs, from stilted woodcut art to a kind of Tintin lite. It’s a good thing this is a sturdy hardcover—it’s made to stand up to the spasms of laughter that will overcome readers again and again. Kupperman is pretty much his own genre of humor now." —Publishers Weekly