As soon as the internet marketing folks at HarperCollins handed me an ARC of Larry Doyle‘s new novel for Ecco, I Love You, Beth Cooper, I recognized the cartoony headshot on the cover as the work of Evan Dorkin, one of my all-time favorite comic book artists. The galley didn’t have an art credit, though, so for confirmation I went to Doyle himself, who explained that the pairing came about after Dan Clowes of Ghost World fame turned the project down. “No knock against Evan,” Doyle pointed out. “Dan is better known outside comics and already associated with the type of material in the book.” But when Clowes wasn’t available, “Ecco proposed Chris Ware, whose work I greatly admire but who I felt wouldn’t be quite right (even his babies look middle-aged).” He countered with a list of artists, including Dorkin, who got the nod…and impressed Ecco so much with the cover that they hired him back to provide spot illustrations to kick off each of the novel’s 24 chapters.
So who is this Dorkin guy, you’re asking? You can find out in an interview with Nerve.com, part of their special “comics issue” running this week. As a bonus, it comes with a new installment of his most popular series, Milk & Cheese, the comic strip that proves, as he puts it, that “dairy products with broken gin bottles smacking people are funny!”