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[Comics]

Hicksville”

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J. Caleb Mozzocco

The Details

Hicksville
Four stars
Dylan Horrocks. Drawn and Quarterly, $20

An American journalist trying to write a biography of Dick Burger, the world’s most successful comic-book artist, journeys to Burger’s hometown, the mysterious little New Zealand village of Hicksville. What he finds there is an entire populace of comics aficionados … none of whom are willing to talk about the local boy who made good.

And that is perhaps the least mysterious thing about Hicksville, a town with a fantastic secret.

Writer/artist Dylan Horrocks uses the intriguing setup not only to tell a charming drama about the journalist, the cartoonist and several of Hicksville’s inhabitants, but to also tell a sideways history of comics … the less-than-perfect way it was and a suggestion of the way it should have been.

Originally published in 1998, prior to the current graphic-novel boom in publishing, Horrocks’ Hicksville is just as potent today, and even more relevant. In fact, it now seems remarkably prescient. It’s required reading for anyone who loves comics.

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