Where Demented Wented Book Release

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Where Demented Wented Book Release
Desert Island Comics, Brooklyn, NY 8/8/08

[Gary Panter, Bill Griffith]

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“This is the largest crowd that Rory’s ever had,” laughed Bill Griffith, only half-jokingly. Desert Island Comics was packed Friday night, in joint celebration of Fantagraphics’ upcoming Rory Hayes anthology, Where Demented Wented and a posthumous celebration of the artist’s 59th birthday. The owners Brooklyn-based shop had diligently swept all of the store’s waste-high shelves into the its remotest corner, but the space was still standing room-only, at best.

Griffith’s bafflement at the matter was palatable. After all, Hayes was never really recognized in his lifetime, whatever minor fame he achieved paling in comparison to habitually lauded peers like Robert Crumb and S. Clay Wilson. Posthumous fame hasn’t exactly been forthcoming, either. For all intents and purposes, the newly-issued Fantagraphics volume is the first widely available anthology of Hayes’s work.

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