Nuts HC Hardcover – Oct 18 2011
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Gahan Wilson's NUTS is the best, most clear-eyed explanation of and memoir about childhood I've ever read. Small, cramped, perfect drawings that show children as they are explorers without a map or a book of instructions in the land of mad giants. --Neil Gaiman
Nuts is one of the best works, and one of the few single book-length works, by one of our time's best and most idiosyncratic cartoonists -- ...it is for everyone who really remembers how terrible and lonely and infuriating it can be to be a child. --Andrew Wheeler
Fantagraphics has done readers a great favor by releasing the first full collection of Nuts, the hilarious cult strip by famed Playboy and National Lampoon cartoonist Gahan Wilson. [I]t s good to finally have a work of Nuts caliber and significance collected so future generations can see for themselves that Gahan Wilson was a humorist who 'got it' in no uncertain terms. --Steve Bunche
(Starred Review) The scenarios include... normal-enough stuff that holds the potential for humiliation, failure, and maybe worse. In Nuts, that potential is always realized and, as memory colors it, so uproariously that you just about choke with laughter. For sheer hilarity, this is Wilson s masterpiece. --Ray Olson"
The all-time greatest comic strip about what it is to be a child, ever. Insightful, hilarious, poignant and dripping truth from every panel, Nuts is, was and ever will be in my pantheon of most life-altering reads. It showed me that comics could be more than just gag-driven. Beautifully drawn and essential to any library of cartoon books. --Bob Fingerman"
They re wonderful pieces of comic art..., applying Wilson s usual sense of the grotesque and macabre to phenomena like summer camp and sick days. And they re not all bitter either... He mixes the sour and the sweet exceptionally well. --Noel Murray"
The kids in Nuts are vain, covetous, not so very bright, and they stagger around, reeling, from one unpleasant surprise to the next . Weirdly, by giving his kids the vocabularies of adults, he really captures the neuroses of childhood. We begin life as we live it now: Dazed, angry, and bitter at our own fundamental lack of control. --Paul Constant"
Dense, claustrophobic, intense and trenchantly funny, the self-contained strips ranged from satire to slapstick to agonising irony, linking up over the years to form a fascinating catalogue of growing older in the USA: a fearfully faithful alternate view of childhood and most importantly, of how we adults choose to recall those distant days. --Win Wiacek"
About the Author
In his ninth decade as a human being and his sixth as a master cartoonist, Gahan Wilson (born dead in 1930) continues to produce cartoons for a variety of magazines including Playboy and The New Yorker.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now, most comic strips dealing with children rely on a gimmick of some sort. Either the kid lives in a dream world, or has an imaginary friend only he can see, or is nothing more than an adult transposed as a kid. The hero in Nuts is none of those. This is a kid who must confront the fear of what monster lurks in the shadows of his room or down in the basement, but who nonetheless has to tell his parents he is going to see a Disney nature film, when all he wants to see is another monster flick. If any of you remember what being a child was, you haven't read Nuts yet. Once you read this book, you will really remember what being a child actually was like. Remember building those airplane models that looked so cool on the outside of their boxes, only to find out that you glued certain parts wrong or forgot others, and it always ended up looking totally different from what you thought it would actually look like? Remember going to summer camp where they had you doing worthless things, and your only thought was of getting back home to read your comic books instead? Remember that first time you saw a girl and you didn't feel the same thing for her as you felt for your other friends? This and countless other situations are just some of what's waiting for you inside this book.
I remember reading Nuts for the first time in the National Lampoon. This strip would always open the Funny Pages section, where all the cartoonists drew their strips. Consisting of various panels arranged in three tiers, with an introduction under the logo in the first panel, we would then follow the kid (we never get to know his real name, as he is the kid in all of us) through a series of mishaps he has to go through. Almost two-thirds of each panel is taken over with dialog, and the bottom third is left so that Mr. Wilson can draw his kids, though we mostly only see their heads, as there is hardly any space left for anything else, and what little space is left, is covered with cross-hatching from Mr. Wilson's pen. So we aren't getting any cutie-pie kid frolicking in the playground or playing baseball with his little friends. No, in this strip we follow the kids thoughts as he has to go through the grueling events every kid has to go through; getting sick, going to school afterwards and not understanding a thing of what the teacher says, suffering through summer camp, visiting your grandparents, picking the groceries for your mom and then noticing that you had put the money in a torn pocket of your jacket, etc. Actually, all the stuff we all had to go through. Yet, through Mr. Wilson's pen strokes, all this produces a warm feeling of déjà-vu that will eventually bring a smile or even laughter to the reader, from the apparent, yet so true, ordeal the kid has to go through.
When I saw this book for the first time, it was in a comic shop way back in the early '80's, and I immediately grabbed it in sheer surprise that someone had actually had the good taste and decided to collect all this strips in a single book. When I was about to pay for it, the vendor at the counter asked me whether I knew who the person that drew this book was. And I pretty much told him all I've been telling you, and ended saying that Nuts was the best book ever written about what being a child really was like. The guy just nodded and leafed through the book... But you can't just leaf through this book! Mr. Wilson doesn't do cute drawings. You've got to read the strips to fully appreciate this book, as the combination of dialog and art has never been so perfectly matched. It's almost like a signature, a signature only one person can do and no one else can imitate.
But you know what? I always felt like I was the only person in the world who knew Gahan Wilson (although I've never met him in person). Whenever we talked about our favorite cartoonists among other fellow cartoonists, I always mentioned Gahan Wilson and was always met with blank stares. So I had to explain what he did, and at the time there were no books on his work and no internet, so I had a hard time trying to explain what his work looked like. Let's just say that without Gahan Wilson there would be no Piraro or Gary Larson. Also, there would be no Nuts...
But you know what? I always felt like a had a secret that no one else knew. That I had a book that collected the entire run of the strip Nuts, and that I was the only person that knew about it. And now it's about time you too get acquainted with the strip Nuts and its author, thanks to Fantagraphics, and become part of the elite of fans of Mr. Gahan Wilson and his strip about the kid (as once read, you'll forever be a fan of this book).
The artwork throughout this book is sharp and clear (maybe because it was scanned from the originals?) and the endpages reproduce the original 3D version of one of the strips, though I wonder if anyone can read them, as they overlap onto another page, making it totally unreadable. Also, the strips that appeared in color in the magazine are reproduced only in black and white. Other than that, this book collects the entire run of the strips, features an appreciation by Gary Groth, and is a hardcover. So what more do you want?
You won't regret buying this book, I promise you.
So why three stars? Because the book is incomplete. There are at least two strips missing. One is the final strip, with The Kid off to the hospital over the caption, "Next: WHAT next?" Admittedly I didn't like this last strip either, for the implied fate of a very sympathetic character, but it should have been included.
The second missing story is a longer arc about a somewhat puzzled boy with huge glasses who shows up as the new kid at Camp Tall Lone Tree. This was a several-page story in the National Lampoon detailing a game of Capture the Flag.
In a way, it's a shame this book is a labor of love. Since this book is so handsomely done, it seems unlikely that the effort will return to re-do it so as to include these strips (and others I might have forgotten).
Still, for what we have, it's very good and if you're a fan of Wilson's or remember the old Lampoon, it's worth having. It's too bad it doesn't contain all it could contain.
I read this collection at least once a year, as it's just the most hilarious "TRUE" account of what it's like to be a kid.
It's dark and not for very young kids. (I'd give it a PG rating) Adults should read it first, before letting their kids read it, as some of the material is pretty dark, and there's some adult language.
I bought it in hardcover, as I'd like to pass it on to my sons someday, when they're a bit older.
PS: They made an animated cartoon based loosely on this collection, but it was pretty awful.