Captain America is a traitor to his country! Wolverine is dead! Batman is dark, man! You might have heard that it’s a tough time to be a comic book hero—and the real world news is even more grim. Enter: Gumby.
That’s right, Gumby is back! On November 7, 2017, leading kids graphic novel publisher Papercutz will release GUMBY “50 SHADES OF CLAY,” a new graphic novel featuring acclaimed cartoonists offering new adventures of Gumby and his pony pal Pokey. But is the world ready to welcome back Art Clokey’s innocent clay character that starred in his very own TV series 60 years ago?
“Gumby is timeless,” said GUMBY comics writer Jeff Whitman. “One of themes we wanted to explore in GUMBY ‘50 SHADES OF CLAY’ is that the character is, dare I say, evergreen but also absolutely relevant to today’s audience. Today Gumby is as optimistic, positive and helpful as when he first appeared, but he lives in the modern world, affected by the current societal issues that face us all. He is being challenged in new ways.”
Stories from comics creators such as Eisner and Harvey Award-winning cartoonist Kyle Baker; Eric Esquivel, Ray Fawkes, Sholly Fisch, Jolyon Yates, Jeff Whitman, Andy Fish and Veronica Fish — the acclaimed artist of THE WENDY PROJECT graphic novel —explore Gumby’s place in today’s world. In “The Sour Note,” by cartoonist Mike Kazaleh, Gumby and the musician Paul Plunk “come together” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their fab first encounter, which seems like it was only “yesterday” (Paul Plunk first appeared in “Piano Rolling Blues,” which can be seen here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x494zb4 and on The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 DVD). While the two musicians (Gumby has his own band—The Clayboys) haven’t been together since 1967, Paul still rocks his signature mop-top haircut with his everlasting message of peace pinned to his paisley lapel. Throughout all the stories in GUMBY “50 SHADES OF CLAY,” Gumby’s character is tested by current issues, perhaps no more so than in “Green With Envy,” by Esquivel and Yates, in which Gumby’s girlfriend Tara becomes smitten with the lead singer of the punk band Grimey and the Sleazeballs. This pushes Gumby to emulate Grimey, which causes Gumby to take a walk on the Wild Side. Will an intervention by Gumby’s family and friends make him see the light?
“Whether you fell in love with Gumby’s classic TV show years ago or if you’ve always been curious about Gumby and Pokey, but never explored their world, GUMBY ‘50 SHADES OF CLAY’ is for you,” said Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier. “While some comic book characters have changed drastically with the times, Gumby has remained consistent, colorful, creative fun. His core of goodness, his heart, his innocence will never change. The world may’ve become a much darker place, but Gumby can deal with it. He’s Gumby, dammit!”
Leading kids graphic novel publisher Papercutz will publish GUMBY “50 SHADES OF CLAY” in both hardcover and trade paperback editions on November 7, 2017.