Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman

Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010
by Michael Kupperman
Fantagraphics, 2011

An amusing conceit which is hilarious for the first dozen pages, but hard to sustain for an entire book. Kupperman presents Mark Twain as an Orlando-like immortal who stages his death every few years and begins a new career, ranging from hypnotist to accidental porn star. He teams up with Einstein to fight crime (an idea better explored in Kupperman’s superior¬†Tales Designed to Thrizzle), visits the moon (for a second time) and witnesses the birth of rock ‘n’ roll at the hands of Universal horror film monsters while on a secret mission for Winston Churchill.

Every ridiculous anecdote is related with the same enthusiasm for life expressed in Twain’s real writings – it’s a bit like Highlander as recounted by Grampa Simpson. The book is an unusual combination of illustrated text and cartoons, and might’ve been more effective if it had kept to a single format.

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