Synopses & Reviews
Superficially resembling 1960s teenage humor comics, Tim Hensley's graphic novel Wally Gropiusis actually an acute satire of power, celebrityhood, and modern culture that tells the story of the titular character, who bears a closer resemblance to a teenaged Richie Rich or a classmate of Archie Andrews at Riverdale High than he does the famous Bauhaus architect whose name he shares.
Wally is the human Dow Jones, the heir to a vast petrochemical conglomerate. When the elder Thaddeus Gropius confronts Wally with the boilerplate plot ultimatum that he must marry "the saddest girl in the world" or be disinherited, a yarn unravels that is part screwball comedy and part unhinged parable on the lucrativeness of changing your identity.
Hensley's dialogue is witty, lyrical, sampled, dada, and elliptical, all in the service of a very bizarre mystery. There's sex, violence, rock and roll, intrigue, and betrayal, all brought home in Hensley's truly inimitable style. Created during an era when another well-off 'W' was stuffing the coffers of the morbidly solvent, Wally Gropius transforms futile daydreams and nightmares into the absurdity of capital.
"Hensley manages to create something rather unique and deeply rewarding in Wally Gropius. This is a comic that rewards multiple readings and contemplation. It's also one of the best — and funniest — books of the year." Robot 6
"Tim Hensley's sly satire of silly '60s kids comics is an amazingly accomplished, spot-on imitation of the look and feel of those books, but with a sharper edged and heavier weight." J. Caleb Mozzocco
" has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novels. ... [It] radiates a real sense of joy, of 'cartooning unfettered.' ... Hensley is one of the best, and most idiosyncratic, writers of text in comics." J. Caleb Mozzocco Newsarama
"Tim Hensley... mix[es] and sampl[es] elements in a self-evident way for a gleeful result... Yet it's oddly difficult to describe in more specific terms, but know that it's about a rich boy and a determined girl and their courtship, and how prolix borrowed comic devices can build into something distressing indeed." Newsarama
" is a terrifying comic book and everyone reading this should buy it immediately. ... It is also a terrifying book to talk about, because its level of craft is so high, its surface so impenetrable, that it's like trying to write about Kubrick or something: You know it's all in there, but it's hard to find a foothold." Sean T. Collins Attentiondeficitdisorderly
" is a book that's constantly lying to the reader, with a terrifying chaos roiling just immediately below its surface... but that nevertheless ends up getting at a greater truth of things. And so, yeah: I thought that was pretty neat." Dan Nadel Comics Comics
"[L]ike reading your favorite poem.. as translated into a language with a totally different alphabet. ... And wonder of wonders, the book finds its own way to be really funny amid all these highfalutin hijinks." Joe McCulloch Comics Comics
"One of my favorite 'graphic novels' of all time. Hilarious and utterly unique, is a work of unassuming genius that rewards on ever-deepening levels with each rereading." Daniel Clowes, author of Ghost World
From the pages of MOME, a grown-up Richie Rich.
About the Author
Tim Hensley was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1966, but now lives in Hollywood with his wife and pets. Wally Gropius is his first book.