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Blessed Be

Blessed Be

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Rick Altergott


Small-town weirdness scales new comedic heights in Altergott's long-awaited graphic novel.

When Tom "The Acid King" Cottonwood is sentenced to prison for dealing, he vows to exact revenge on the judge and all of Flowertown, U.S.A. One year later, when hillbilly Henry Hotchkiss violates the single principle binding the members of the local men's group, the 40 Acres Club — preserving his virginity — he proactively excommunicates himself to the woods in shame, prompting his distraught best friend, Doofus Anderssen (he of straw boater and Beatle haircut over a permanent five-o'clock shadow), to organize a community search. But little does he know that Cottonwood has been paroled and is making plans in those same woods to fulfill his destiny as "The Acid King" — in the form of a deadly act of terrorism he calls "Scorpio Rising."

Altergott's farcical earnest cast of smalltown bums, outlaws, hippies, bikers, and babes — with names like Father John Beggarweed, Stink Hair Stu, Rubberneck Nelson, Muttonchop O'Rourke, et. al. — intertwine in a web of crime and mystery involving satanic ritual, religious tracts curiously popping up around town, naked fishermen, and psychedelic drugs, driving the narrative to ever-greater depths of hilarity (even though none of his characters are in on the jokes). Blessed Be reads like an R-rated Mad magazine parody of Our Town written by John Waters and drawn by Mort Drucker and Wally Wood. Altergott both skewers and celebrates an eerie realm of '70s men's magazines and small-town conservatism. A cult favorite since the 1990s amongst intellectuals and philistines alike for his impeccably crafted brand of lowbrow humor, cartoonist Rick Altergott has never crafted a full-length graphic novel — until now.


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