In Praise of Nonsense

Illustrator George Carlson is a lost-and-found treasure of American culture. A staggeringly prolific draftsman, he created magazine covers, spot illustrations, book covers and comics during his long career, most of which quietly slipped into obscurity. Carlson's Jingle Jangle comics seem to be the hook that catches most people, however. His goofy adventure stories, such as "The Sea-Seasoned Sea-Cook and the Heroic Pancake" and "Sleepy Yollo the Bedless Norseman," are rife with slapstick and nonsense, and incite giggles and wonder in readers of all ages. Speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison raved about Carlson's comics work in an essay, and comic legend Art Spiegelman cited him as an influence, which has sent canny fans in search of Carlson's work. That's been a tough search, until now. Daniel Yezbick's book Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson is a treasure trove of the master's work in all areas, as well as a career retrospective. Yezbick discusses and signs copies of Perfect Nonsense at 6 p.m. at Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-6100 or Admission is free.
Mon., May 12, 6 p.m., 2014