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Geary, Rick 1946-

GEARY, Rick 1946-


PERSONAL: Born February 25, 1946, in Kansas City, MO; son of Edward V. (a banker) and Helen Louise (a homemaker; maiden name, Brooks) Geary; married Deborah Lee Chester (a teacher), January 11, 1987. Education: University of Kansas, B.F.A., 1968, M.A., 1971.


ADDRESSES: Home and offıce—1166 24th St., San Diego, CA 92102. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Freelance cartoonist and illustrator, 1977—.

MEMBER: National Cartoonists Society, Graphic Artists Guild.


AWARDS, HONORS: National Cartoonists Society Award for Magazine and Book Illustration, 1995; Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection, American Library Association Young Adult Services Division, 1996, for Jack the Ripper.


WRITINGS:


Spider-Man: Ghosts, Ghouls, and the Hobgoblin, illustrated by Ken Steacy, Fun Works (Burbank, CA), 1996.


illustrator


Donna Z. Meilach, Plant Hangers, Crown (New York, NY), 1977.

J. Arthur Campbell, Chemistry: The Unending Frontier, Goodyear Publishing (Santa Monica, CA), 1978.

Donna Z. Meilach, Macrame Gnomes and Puppets, Crown (New York, NY), 1980.

Byron Preiss and Michael Sorkin, Not the Webster'sDictionary, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1983.

Robert M. Gorodess, How to Sell Remodeling, Craftsman Book Co. (Carlsbad, CA), 1985.

Mark Davies, Inside the Airport, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1990.

David Keller, Great Disasters: The Most ShockingMoments in History, Avon (New York, NY), 1990.

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1990.

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1990.

H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1991.

Jerry Prosser, Cyberantics: A Little Adventure, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1992.

Ilene Rosenzweig, The I Hate Madonna Handbook, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Francis L. Fennell, Collegiate English Handbook, Collegiate Press (San Diego, CA), 1998.

Katia E. Moritz and Jennifer Jablonsky, Blink, Blink,Clop, Clop: Why Do We Do Things We Can't Stop?: An OCD Storybook, Childswork, Childsplay (Secaucus, NJ), 1998.

Patricia Lakin, Harry Houdini: Escape Artist, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2002.



cartoon books


Television, Schanes & Schanes (San Diego, CA), 1978. Hello from San Diego, Schanes & Schanes (San Diego, CA), 1978.

Byting Back: A Compendium of TechnoWhimsy, Valleyware Publishing (Solana Beach, CA), 1983.


collections


U-Comix Sonderband 28, Volksverlag (Linden, West Germany), 1980.

At Home with Rick Geary, Fantagraphics Books (Agoura, CA), 1985.

Rick Geary's Wonders & Oddities, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1988.

Housebound with Rick Geary, Fantagraphics Books (Seattle, WA), 1991.

Prairie Moon and Other Stories, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1992.

"treasury of victorian murder" series; graphic novels


A Treasury of Victorian Murder, NBM Publishing (New York, NY), 1987, new edition, 2002.

Jack the Ripper: A Journal of the WhitechapelMurders, 1888-1889, NBM Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.

The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the InfamousDouble Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892, NBM Publishing (New York, NY), 1997.

The Fatal Bullet: A True Account of the Assassination,Lingering Pain, Death, and Burial of James A. Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States; Also Including the Inglorious Life and Career of the Despised Assassin Guiteau, NBM Publishing (New York, NY), 1999, published as The Fatal Bullet: The Assassination of President James A. Garfield, 2001.

The Mystery of Mary Rogers, NBM Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.


comics


The Exploits of the Junior Carrot Patrol: "TheUnbelievable Journey," Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1989.

The Exploits of the Junior Carrot Patrol: "TheBackwards Machine," Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1990.

Blanche Goes to New York, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1992.

Blanche Goes to Hollywood, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1993.

Blanche Goes to Paris, Headless Shakespeare Press (Seattle, WA), 2001.


self-illustrated children's books


The Night before Christmask, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1994.

The Mask Summer Vacation, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1995.

The Mask in School Spirits, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1995.

Spider-Man: Chase for the Blue Tiger, YES! Entertainment, (Pleasanton, CA), 1995.

Spider-Man: Lights, Camera, Danger! XYZ Distributors (Wauwatosa, WI), 1996.

Regular contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including San Diego Reader, 1975—, National Lampoon, 1979-92, Copley News Service, 1985-97, New York Times Book Review, 1988-92, and Mad magazine, 1996-2000. Also contributor of illustrations to San Diego Union-Tribune, Spy, Old Farmer's Almanac, American Libraries, Pulse, Wood and Steel, Rolling Stone, Computoredge, Roadstar, California Lawyer, Los Angeles magazine, San Diego magazine, and Los Angeles Times. Contributor of writings and illustrations to "Treasury of Victorian Murder" series, NBM Publishing, 1987—, and "Society of Horrors," in Disney Adventures magazine, 1999—.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Beast of Chicago, a graphic novel in the "Treasury of Victorian Murder" series for publication in 2003.


SIDELIGHTS: Rick Geary is a prominent cartoonist whose drawings have illustrated such well-known venues as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times as well as National Lampoon and Mad, magazines long loved for their comics. Young adults may know Geary's work through his contributions to these periodicals, or for his graphic novels, notably his contributions to the "Treasury of Victorian Murder" series published by NBM Publishers. Reviewers have found Geary's additions to the series meticulously researched and intriguingly illustrated with unusual points of view and details that add to the tone as well as to the historical veracity of the stories. His Jack the Ripper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders, 1888-1889 was selected for the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers List by the American Library Association's Young Adult Services Division, and The Mystery of Mary Rogers, The Fatal Bullet, and The Borden Tragedy were each also noted by reviewers for their likely appeal to reluctant readers.

In Jack the Ripper, Geary details the murders of five London prostitutes in 1888 in police-procedural style, sifting through the evidence, including coroner's reports, witnesses' accounts, and clues. His artwork and a "deadpan pulp narrative" create a haunting volume in which the hypocrisy of Victorian society is highlighted, according to a contributor to Publishers Weekly. Another famous unsolved murder inspired The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892, in which Geary goes over the murder of Abby and Andrew Borden, head of a prominent Massachusetts family, and the trial and acquittal of Andrew's daughter, Lizzy, who was never exonerated in the public eye. "It's Geary's artfully precise reconstruction of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Fall River that makes this work so haunting, and such a delight," observed a contributor to Publishers Weekly, who compared it favorably to Geary's Jack the Ripper. Like the earlier case, much has already been written about the Borden case, remarked Ray Olson in Booklist, who added that "the comics medium arguably communicates the facts more forcefully and memorably than any of the many other works about the crimes."

In The Fatal Bullet: A True Account of the Assassination, Lingering Pain, Death, and Burial of James A. Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States; Also Including the Inglorious Life and Career of the Despised Assassin Guiteau, Geary tells the parallel stories of President Garfield and Charles Guiteau, the man who shot the U.S. president in the back of the head while Garfield was boarding a train six months into his presidency. The two were strangely similar in background and interests—both studied law and politics—and Geary plays the two off each other, alternating the story of Garfield's rise to the rank of general during the Civil War and then on to the presidency with Guiteau's gradual descent into madness. Geary's text and illustrations also reveal historical details such as the relative dearth of security around the president and the dismal state of medicine which caused Garfield to suffer for months before dying of his bullet wound. Booklist's Ray Olson compared The Fatal Bullet favorably to The Borden Tragedy, remarking that here Geary "surpasses his own bravura" in the earlier book's illustrations, singling out "subtly expressive facial drawing, and skillful juxtaposition of frames" for special praise.

In The Mystery of Mary Rogers Geary offers his own true-crime comic "take" on another famous nineteenth-century murder, following in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe to tell the tale of the popular cigar girl who was abused and thrown to her death in the Hudson River in 1841. When Mary Rogers was found dead in the river, a quick burial and the proximity of the victim to the Manhattan elite provoked rumors of a botched abortion and a cover-up. Speculation about the perpetrator was rampant. As in his earlier entries in this series, Geary does not attempt to solve the crime, but presents again all the evidence and uses his illustrations to offer the variety of possible suspects and outcomes. Geary's illustrations "capture the spirit of a booming and boisterous New York City in the 1840s," remarked a contributor to Publishers Weekly. Christine C. Menefee made a similar point in her review in School Library Journal, and concluded that "with its commendable historical accuracy, [The Mystery of Mary Rogers] would also enliven studies of U.S. history."

Geary told CA: "At first, my only ambition was to be a freelance cartoonist and illustrator. In time, I found that there was a certain kind of illustrated storytelling I wanted to pursue, which I did initially in a series of self-published mini-books. This led to twelve years of contributing comic stories to National Lampoon, and thence to more or less continuous work in the comic book industry.

"My interest in the strange and unusual corners of history, particularly true crime, led me to the continuing 'Treasury of Victorian Murder' series for NBM Publishing, the latest volume of which is The Mystery of Mary Rogers. My goal in these books is clarity and accuracy, above all, along with a certain deadpan humor."

"I work in a studio at my home near downtown San Diego. Though I value the freedom of working at home, my days are necessarily highly structured in order to complete the half-dozen or so projects I have going at one time. Self-employment, it took me years to learn, requires self-discipline.

"There are many artists and writers whose work I enjoy and appreciate, but the most influential, as both artist and writer, is probably the late Edward Gorey."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


periodicals


Booklist, December 1, 1997, Ray Olson, review of The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892, p. 604; July, 1999, Ray Olson, review of The Fatal Bullet: A True Account of the Assassination, Lingering Pain, Death, and Burial of James A. Garfield,Twentieth President of the United States: Also Including the Inglorious Life and Career of the Despised Assassin Guiteau, p. 1919; April 15, 2001, Ray Olson, review of The Mystery of Mary Rogers, p. 1514.

Publishers Weekly, April 17, 1995, review of Jack theRipper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders, 1888-1889, p. 42; January 19, 1998, review of The Borden Tragedy, p. 364; July 12, 1999, review of The Fatal Bullet, p. 86; May 28, 2001, review of The Mystery of Mary Rogers, p. 52.

School Library Journal, September, 1990, Sylvia S. Marantz, review of Inside the Airport, p. 215; March, 1998, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Borden Tragedy, p. 249; August, 2001, Christine C. Menefee, review of The Mystery of Mary Rogers, p. 213; December, 2002, Edith Ching, review of Harry Houdini: Escape Artist, p. 124.


other


Rick Geary Home Page,http://www.rickgeary.com

(January 15, 2003).*

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